Lane County and Oregon Internet Response receive award for wildfire response

Lane County and Oregon Internet Response receive award for wildfire response
Posted on 11/19/2021

Lane County Technology Services Department (TS) and Oregon Internet Response (OIR) received the Award for Excellence in Telecommunications Projects and Regional Strategies during the 25th annual Oregon Connections Telecommunications Technology Conference.


Oregon Internet Response formed and collaborated with Lane County Technology Services and Emergency Management to bring telecommunications back to the McKenzie River Valley following the Holiday Farm Fire, which destroyed telecommunications equipment throughout much of the valley. 


The group brought together multiple resources and partners to create microwave links supplying bandwidth into the fire area, serving emergency, school, medical, business and public connectivity needs while commercial providers worked to repair infrastructure destroyed in the fire. 

Technology Director Michael Finch accepting the award plaque.


“The ability to communicate and access the Internet is absolutely critical in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Lane County Chief Information Officer Michael Finch. “Without this essential work, tasks as simple as pumping gas, checking email or keeping connected with a child’s education during COVID would have been impossible. The work that OIR, Lane County and other partners did to bring connectivity back to the McKenzie Valley has helped set the state for the area’s recovery.”


Michael Finch, Lane County’s Chief Information Officer and leader of the Technology Services Department, accepted the award on behalf of Lane County and OIR. 


More information about the conference and award is available at