As the largest city in Jefferson County and the county seat, Madras is a diverse community with a rich history. Homesteaded at the turn of the 20th century and incorporated in 1911, dryland farming was the core of the local economy until irrigation arrived in 1937. Madras is a caring community with significant collaboration between residents, businesses, government, service organizations and churches to provide a top-notch quality of life for all ages. The city has an exceptional aquatic center, extensive green spaces, a trail system and a kids’ fishing pond – all surrounded by the Cascade mountains and nearby desert buttes. The area is a diverse mix of manufacturing, agriculture, aviation, retail, education, business and government services. The surrounding farmland also remains an important economic contributor to the county. The Madras Airport, a former World War II training base for B-17 pilots, is the site for Erickson Aero Tanker, a company that supplies air tanker support for wildland fire suppression.