Chelan Fire and Rescue is currently looking at reactivating
the downtown “air raid” siren for larger, multi alarm incidents within the fire

Chelan Fire and Rescue runs over 900 calls a year and is a
recognized as the 6th most high-risk area for large catastrophic
fires in the state.  As we have seen in
the past, occasionally these fires can quickly overrun the capabilities of our limited
local resources, especially with the right weather conditions.  The majority of our calls are usually handled
by the on-duty crews in combination with the volunteers at outlying stations.  Those calls would NOT activate the siren.  But due to the reduction of half of Chelan
Fire and Rescue’s daily career staff coupled with a decrease in volunteers
responding to calls we feel now is the time to research different ways to
notify the community to prepare. 

As more orchards are being torn out and more homes are
moving deeper into the urban interface, we feel the Lake Chelan community as a whole,
needs to be alerted.  The community can
share in their part of the response by looking up, looking for smoke,
recognizing that there is a fire, and generally remaining vigilant to their
surroundings.  Fires that used to be
slowed by green orchards and irrigation now have paths from the hills right
into homes. 

Chelan Fire and Rescue is looking at activating the siren
only on 2nd alarm or greater fires.  
By activating the siren on 2nd and 3rd alarm fires
it serves many purposes.  It lets the
community know that all five stations and all firefighters are being requested
for a fire in the district.  It lets
business owners who employ our volunteer members know that there is a significant
fire event locally in hopes that they may be able to release them to respond to
the call.   It lets you the citizens know
there is a chance that if you call 911, your emergency may have a slight delay
as incident commanders decide what to break free from the major incident or who
to call to assist you.   It lets you also
know that there will soon be apparatus and personnel from all over Chelan,
Douglas, and Okanogan counties potentially coming through town to assist.   It
creates community situational awareness that is vital to the safety of all as
conditions can change in a matter of minutes.  We will do our part in getting up to date
factual information out to all media platforms as the situation allows.

Chelan Fire and Rescue is not alone in this endeavor.  The Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee areas are
also in the process of researching the reactivation of their siren system.  Chelan Fire and Rescue hopes that we won’t
have to activate it at all this summer but we also recognize the challenges
that we are facing regarding our response capabilities.  Now with the COVID-19 situation we could
potentially have even fewer firefighters locally and statewide to respond.  Chelan Fire and Rescue is here to answer
questions and looking for input from the community in regard to this.  You can contact Assistant Chief Brandon Asher
at or call Station 71 at