What is a skidgine? It was a question posed by people on social media after images of one fighting the Tolo Mountain Fire near Crescent Lake were shared by Central Oregon Fire Information recently.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, “Skidgines are a cross between skidders and engines. This skidgine has a large capacity water tank greater than a standard wildfire engine. They can work in steep or loose terrain that engines and water tenders would not be able to access. Skidgines can be used to move large logs out of the way and are a great resource for firefighters working in rough terrain.”
Kassidy Kern of Central Oregon Fire Information adds that “The Skidgines are helpful in constructing lines or pushing logs with their front blade, but they also can grab water in their tanks and deliver it to an area of the fire where the engine can’t go. Then the firefighters can cool hoses to the tanks and cool hot spots.”
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Central Oregon Fire Info said four skidgines are assisting in mop up efforts in the more remote areas of the Tolo Mountain Fire.