Umpqua North Complex Camp

Fire season always brings us back to our roots here at Western Shelter. The company was founded in 1988 to offer a more sustainable solution for wildland fire camps. While we have grown significantly since then, protecting firefighters and incident commanders is still a core component of our mission.

This last week we had the opportunity to visit a fire camp not too far from our Eugene, Oregon based factory, thanks to our friends at Crewzers BaseCamp. Check out the drone video and images from the trip, if you have any questions about the products shown please don't hesitate to contact us.

At the time of this writing the Umpqua North Complex Fire has burned 6,616 acres. Over 800 firefighters, 3 helicopters, and 66 engines have been employed to contain it. Nearby residents have been evacuated, and highway 138 has experienced periodic closures with the flames reaching the road.

Drone usage near wildland fires is heavily restricted to prevent incidents with low flying aircraft. Fortunately the Alaska Incident Management Team was able to grant us clearance for a 10 minute flight over the ICP. We were very appreciative of their time and assistance during our visit.

Through our tour of the camp we were impressed to see the care that Crewzers takes in maintaining and deploying the Western Shelters in their equipment cache.

With summer heat reaching into the 90s, insulation walls and HVAC units are critical shelter system components at fire camps. The air conditioning units also provide a degree of relief from the smokey air at the fire camp site.


Shelters equipped with insulation walls and HVACs make excellent day sleeper shelters for crews that operate at night, since most of the sunlight is blocked out and they manage to stay quite cool through the heat of the day. Our bunkbeds also help to maximize the utility of the day sleepers by allowing 20 people to rest comfortably in a single Gatekeeper 1935.

Portable power is critical to keeping camps like this running. Western Shelter generators, distribution boxes, and power cables could be found all over the camp.

Western Shelter's sister company, CrewBoss, manufactures protective gear for wildland firefighters, so it was nice to see their products all around camp as well.

We always enjoy the unique ways that customers use our shelters. In this case an open window served as a convenient supply depot.