Layoffs target 4 firefighters in SW Ore. town

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WINSTON, Ore. (AP) -- Four firefighters in the southwest Oregon community of Winston are scheduled to be laid off in less than one month after an outside audit found the fire district was in a financial crisis.

The layoffs would leave the Winston-Dillard Fire District with nine employees, down from 18 employees in 2010. The department laid off two firefighters and a paramedic last year, the Roseburg News-Review reported (http://bit.ly/zmlgoh ).

New fire chief Ken McGinnis says he will look for ways to prevent the layoffs, which are scheduled to take place on Feb. 1.

Officials hope mutual aid agreements with other fire districts and volunteers will make up the difference.

Firefighter Rusty Young, who is scheduled to be laid off, says he thinks the district is attempting to replace fulltime firefighters with volunteers.