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June 1, 2020 BURN BAN IN EFFECT

Resolution #2020-54 – Chelan County

Burn PSA 5-28-20 – Fire Marshal Bob Plumb

Chelan Fire & Rescue Community

With the current Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) we want to make certain that members of our community have access to good information as we work together to keep our community safe and healthy.

Chelan Fire & Rescue is working closely with our partner response agencies of Lake Chelan EMS, Chelan County Fire District 5 (Manson), Chelan County Fire District 8 (Entiat), Douglas County Fire District 4 (Orondo), and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office as well as community leaders from Chelan and Manson in managing a focused response to the needs of our community.

Working under the direction of Chelan-Douglas County Public Health and Chelan County Emergency Management our local Incident Management Team will be issuing updates regarding this current situation as well as providing access to the information necessary to keep you informed and educated.

We are providing links to the following websites to keep you up to date on the most current information:

  1. Lake Chelan Now, lakechelannow.com
  2. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cdc.gov
  3. Chelan Fire & Rescue District 7, chelan7.com
  4. Lake Chelan Community Hospital, lakechelancommunityhospital.com
  5. Confluence Health, confluencehealth.org
  6. Lake Chelan School District, chelanschools.org
  7. Washington State Department of Health, doh.wa.gov
  8. Chelan County, co.chelan.wa.us
  9. Chelan-Douglas Health District, cdhd.wa.gov
  10. Chelan Chamber of Commerce, lakechelan.com
  11. Historic Downtown Chelan, historicchelan.org
  12. Chelan County Emergency Management-Facebook com/CCSOEM/

Are you Ready for Fire Season? 

According to the latest forecast from the National Interagency Fire Center much of the Pacific Northwest is facing “significant large fire potential” for this summer.  The long- range outlook is predicting that warmer and drier than average conditions for Washington through July coupled with cancelled prescribed burning have the potential for increasing our fire problem this season.  Add the possibility of staffing issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we will all be working hard this year to minimize our fire loss.

So, what can you do now as a property or home owner?

With our current Stay at Home directive in place we should being thinking about creating defensible space.  Now is the perfect time to get outside and take these easy steps to protecting your home:

  1. Create at least 30 to 100 feet of defensible space around your home (firewise.org)
  2. Create a “fire free” area within 5 feet of your home using non-flammable landscaping materials and low-growing, high moisture plants.
  3. Clean roofs (remove branches and leaves), gutters (clear pine needles) and decks (move flammable furniture.)
  4. Reduce brush, prune trees (to a minimum of 6 feet from ground) and mow/water grasses regularly to reduce “ladder fuels” that can carry fire from the ground to your home.
  5. Move wood piles, propane tanks, and other flammable items at least 30 feet away from structures.
  6. Replace vent screens with 1/8” or smaller screens to prevent firebrands from entering.
  7. Consider using Class-A asphalt roof shingles, clay tile, or slate roofing materials.

For free Firewise assessments of your home and property please contact Chelan Fire & Rescue at 509-68-4476 and we will gladly schedule a convenient time for you so that our crews can come out and complete the assessment with you.

Remember, we are all in this together in keeping our community safe and healthy.

CHELAN FIRE AND RESCUE PRESS RELEASE:

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

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 basher@cfr7.org or call Station 71 at (509)682-4476.

Public Safety Announcement – March 23, 2020

Open Burning

The Fire Districts are very busy.

Please do not add to the work they are doing. If you need to burn natural debris on your property, remember that last year’s grass is very flammable.

Please burn responsibly.

Here are some simple guidelines to follow:

No burning if the wind speeds exceed 10 mph. (Less is better)

Attended recreational campfires are allowed at private residences and hosted campgrounds in approved campfire rings or pits and at dispersed camping sites. The campfire area must be clear of combustible material 36 inches in diameter around the campfire. Have a shovel and water readily available on site to suppress the fire.

Outside of UGA: Debris burning of natural vegetation is allowed on your property. No garbage or building debris. Maximum pile size is 4X4-feet in diameter. A 10-foot diameter area clear of flammable material around the pile is required. Water and a shovel must be readily available on site to suppress the fire.

Debris burning restrictions within the Urban Growth Area (UGA) are still applicable. Burning of yard waste in Urban Growth Areas is prohibited.

No Household trash or garbage shall be burned outdoors at residences at any time. If your property is not in an Urban Growth Area only natural vegetation can be burned.

Burn barrels are illegal and are not permitted.

Always have at least one person attending the burn pile and provide them with a means to control the fire or put out spot fires. (Hand tools and water.)

If you have an orchard. Agricultural Operations Do Not need a permit from Ecology to burn their pruning’s or fire-blight if they are just limbs and a few whole trees.  If the orchard is tearing out whole blocks or acreage then they need an agricultural pile burn permit from Ecology.

It is advised to have outdoor burning complete before the end of May.  Burn regulations will engage June 1st.

All burning you need to call D.O.E at 1-800-406-5322, listen to prompt for Chelan County. Call the fire station 509-682-4476 to notify us you are burning.

DRAFT Budget 2020-2022

The Board of Commissioners met in a special meeting October 30, 2019 to discuss the 2020 budget. The draft budget breaks down the revenues and expenditures by categories. The draft budget reflects a percentage and taxation cost for each expenditure line item. The draft budget shows costs through 2022.

Currently the fire district collects .85 cents per $1,000. To generate $100,000 it takes .04 cents per $1,000.

If you have any questions please contact Fire Chief Mark Donnell at 509-682-4476.

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Helpful Links

Air Quality – Washington State Department of Ecology

Washington State Fire incident information

Okanogan Wenatchee USDA Forest Service

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A few words about us

Chelan Fire and Rescue (Chelan County Fire Protection District 7) has been in existence since 1926. The agency is a Fire Protection District, organized under Title 52 of the Revised Code of Washington. Chelan Fire and Rescue’s jurisdiction is located in Northeast Chelan County, covering 125 square miles around Lake Chelan and surrounding areas. These areas include: The City of Chelan, Chelan Falls, Union Valley, South Lake Shore, 25 Mile Creek, the north side of Lake Chelan from the City of Chelan to Manson, Chelan Airport, and Howard Flats up to the Chelan/Okanogan County line.