An amateur radio operator helped firefighters respond quickly to a fire south of Canyon City Sunday afternoon.
Outside of cellphone service, Seth Klingbeil of John Day used the amateur radio repeater on Eagle Peak to call in a fire to other amateur radio operators, who were able to telephone dispatch, Grant County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Coordinator Steve Fletcher said.
Klingbeil and his wife were traveling to Wickiup Campground when they noticed the flames from a downed power line on Canyon Creek Lane about 9 miles south of Canyon City.
John Day, Canyon City and Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters were dispatched to the scene just before 2 p.m. Firefighters kept the blaze to 26.5 acres and called it contained Monday morning, according to the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center.
A power outage affecting about 33 homes south of Canyon City had been reported at about 1 p.m., and the power was restored at 6:30 p.m., according to Oregon Trail Electric Co-op.
Klingbeil said he deserved no accolades.
“I was just in the right place at the right time with the right equipment,” he said. “I would strongly encourage more people to get involved with amateur radio as it can be a great help where there is no cellphone coverage.”
Meetings about amateur radio will be held in Grant County in the coming months. For more information, visit w7gco.org.