When summer hits in Wasco County, wheat rancher Jeff Kortge knows to throw a water tank in the back of his truck.
Before he heads out, he also grabs a CB radio, just in case he gets the call.
The call that says go now.
That’s because he and other farmers in the rural district are often the first responders to a fire.
“We don’t have a fire department in this area,” Kortge said this week as the Substation Fire devastated Oregon wheat country. “So basically if you live in the area, you are a firefighter.”