Washington News

Friday, August 23, 2019

New Clark County Fire District 6 chief will be one of 50 female fire chiefs nationwide

The Clark County Fire District 6 Board of Commissioners appointed an employee of two decades to take the reins as fire chief next year — serving among only 50 female fire chiefs nationwide. Kristan Maurer will become fire chief Jan. 1, according to a Fire District 6 blog post. The district’s website indicates that Maurer is already serving as one of two assistant chiefs. Current Fire Chief Jerry Green and Assistant Chief Shawn Newberry will begin to implement a transition plan starting in September. Green is retiring at the end of the year. He has been the fire chief for more than a decade. Maurer has spent her 20 years at the fire district moving up the ranks and improving procedures, the blog post says. There are 14,000 female firefighters nationwide, which makes up about 5 percent of the entire profession, according to the fire district.
Vancouver Columbian - Metered Site

‘This won’t be the end of Tacos El Tule’ owner says as arson claims Bellingham food truck

Jose Robles said he was abruptly awakened at 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, by his wife telling him the Bellingham Fire Department was at their door. Their taco truck, Tacos El Tule, was on fire. Robles said it was sheer confusion and commotion when he went outside, and for about 30 seconds, he thought he was just having a nightmare. He said there were no flames, only smoke, when he made it outside. Because he didn’t have his contacts in, Robles couldn’t see the extent of the damage immediately. “We lost everything,” Robles told The Bellingham Herald. “There’s nothing salvageable in this unit.” Bellingham Fire Department investigators determined the cause of the fire was arson. Robles said Bellingham police asked him if he had any enemies. Robles said he didn’t, and that he’s always been deeply involved with the community.
Bellingham Herald

Annual Fill the Boot Campaign Saturday in East Wenatchee

Firefighters from Douglas County Fire District 2 and Chelan County Fire District 1 will be out at the intersection of 9th St. and the Valley Mall Parkway in East Wenatchee Saturday for the annual Fill the Boot campaign. The fundraiser, which collects money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association will run from 9:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Continuing a 65-year tradition, dedicated fire fighters will hit the streets with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorist, customers and other passersby to make a donation.
KPQ-AM 560

Warm temps, wildfire smoke possible for western Washington next week

A big change to our overall weather pattern in western Washington is forecast to happen the last week of August. For the first time in a long time, we will see a persistent easterly offshore flow which will help give us a streak of warm temperatures, as well as potentially give us some wildfire smoke. Before we get too hyped up, let's point out there are no major wildfires currently burning in eastern Washington or interior British Columbia. The biggest fire is the Williams Flats Fire which had burned around 45,000 acres and was about 90% contained Thursday morning. That fire isn't producing much smoke, so even with an easterly flow, it likely won't bring much smoke to western Washington.
KING 5 News

Crews extinguish fire at apparent vacant house in northwest Spokane

Spokane Fire crews were able to knock down a house fire in northwest Spokane Friday morning. The fire was reported at a home near Ash St. & Carlisle Ave around 9 a.m. Friday. Crews tell KHQ's Patrick Erickson the fire was confined to the basement of the house. The home appears to be vacant with no gas or electricity, and no one was inside at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
KHQ-TV NBC 6 Spokane

Thursday, August 22, 2019

26 percent of 911 calls in Medical Lake weren’t being answered; here’s how the small town fixed the problem

In Medical Lake, if there was a fire, car crash, or any big emergency, one in four 911 calls, weren't being answered. "We've struggled to meet the rising call demands out here," former Fire Chief, Jason Mayfield, said. The Medical Lake Fire Department, until Wednesday, was made up completely of volunteers, something that Chief Mayfield says, has been hurting the community for years. "It's not just something that's Medical Lake, it's industry wide. Volunteers are down across the country, it was just a matter of time before the wheels completely fell off," Chief Mayfield said. If Medical Lake volunteers couldn't respond to a call, firefighters from Downtown Spokane, Spokane Valley, or the Northside, had to hustle to the small town, hoping to get there in time. These calls weren't free, and were costing taxpayers from other cities. Medical Lake decided in August, they wanted a change. It was time to hire full-time firefighters and EMT's.

Yakima ambulance company gets award, day after fire chief criticizes

A Yakima ambulance company is getting a national award one day after Yakima's Fire Chief criticizes the system and says changes need to be made. Fire Chief Aaron Markham said yesterday that people are waiting too long for ambulances to arrive, meaning they are losing crucial time. "We really don't have a system in place that establishes performance measures for the ambulance companies that respond to our area," Markham says. However, Brian Ireton from Advanced Life Services says the company is meeting all of the state and county response time requirements. "ALS is required to report to the City of Yakima Fire Department every month for the previous month's response times to calls within the city. We are meeting their requirements for those calls," Ireton says.
KIMA-TV CBS 29 Yakima

Truck destroyed when boom touches powerline at Kennewick construction site

PHOTO: A boom truck caught fire when its boom hit a powerline at a construction site on South Vancouver Street Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters responded to the construction site at Vancouver and 23rd Avenue just after 12:35 p.m. When they arrived, the truck was fully involved with flames, said Kennewick Fire Capt. Brian Ellis said. Fire investigators determined that the workers were using the boom to put roofing materials on a building when the boom caught a powerline, causing the truck's hydraulic system to ignite. The truck was a total loss. No other damage was reported and no one was hurt. At least one person reported the incident as an explosion. Ellis explained that this person likely mistook the sound of the boom hitting the powerline or the sound of a tire popping off for an explosion.

Twisp River Fire survivor climbs Mount Rainier: ’It took literally everything in me to get to that summit’

VIDEO: Four years after the Twisp River Fire nearly took his life, burn survivor Daniel Lyon has reached the top of Mount Rainier. As Q13 News first shared with you earlier this week, he's been training for this climb for months, battling through the pain of being burned on 70 percent of his body and the dozens of surgeries that came with it. His goal was to summit on August 19, four years to the day the fire took the lives of his three firefighter brothers and nearly took his. At the last minute, his climbing group backed out and it looked like his dream wouldn't happen. But Lyon is proof that when you set your mind to something, nothing can stop you. "It took literally everything in me to get to that summit," he said. There was nothing easy about realizing his lifelong dream of summiting Mount Rainier.

Homeless man’s propane heater sparks brush fire along Moses Lake

A small brush fire Wednesday afternoon along Moses Lake was caused by a homeless man attempting to light a propane heater. The fire was first reported at about 12:50 p.m. along the shoreline behind West Marina Drive. The man told Moses Lake police he was attempting to use a propane heater in his tent but the propane tank wasn’t installed correctly. Witnesses reported hearing at least one explosion just before the fire started. The man says he threw the heater out of his tent and was trying to collect his belongings. Moses Lake firefighters responded and contained the blaze to about an acre.

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