Washington News

Monday, September 25, 2023

‘A field of dreams’: North County Regional Fire opens new training facility in Stanwood

North County Regional Fire Chief John Cermak had a vision — a vision many, even his closest colleagues, called crazy at first. He wanted to create a training program in Snohomish County that would serve all firefighters in the region. His idea included a place to hold live fire demonstrations, classes and gatherings between fire districts. “I recognized the need to improve our training,” Cermak said. Cermak’s dream came from a desire to train firefighters together — creating a cohesive, robust system that would help the entire county respond better to disaster. “When you train together, you'll find out that firefighters across the nation are firefighters ... the same everywhere,” he said. “One puts their boot on the left foot first and the other puts the right boot on first, but you find out we all have strengths and weaknesses.”
Standwood Camano News

Woman rescued from Lacey house fire, officials investigating

Firefighters rescued a woman from a house fire in Lacey early Sunday morning. First responders were called around 4:30 a.m. to reports of smoke in a 911 caller’s home. According to Lacey Fire, the woman in the home was briefly trapped on the back deck while the fire grew. Crews arrived and started working on the fire. The woman was rescued, then taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. Photos shared by the fire department show damage to the outside of the house and its roof, a room, and a car parked out front, which was melted by the extreme heat. It is not yet known what caused the fire.
KCPQ-TV FOX 13 Seattle

Just three of the initial 43 fires remain active in the Cowlitz Complex

When the California Interagency Incident Management Team 13 arrived in Randle early this month, taking over for another team, there were 43 active fires scattered across the Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s northwestern Cowlitz Valley Ranger District. Today, there are just three. Clint Green, operations section chief on the group of fires collectively dubbed the Cowlitz Complex Fire, considers that a win. At least, with the qualifier, “in this circumstance.” In total, the 723 acres of the fires are 39% contained, and a crew of 265 people were staffing the complex on Friday. “We’ve made quite a bit of progress,” Green said on Wednesday, standing in the firefighting team’s briefing tent in Randle. “It does feel good, at the end of the day, to know that you made a difference and you’re setting the next team up to be successful.”
Centralia Chronicle

Commissioner Franz warns wildfire season is not over as fire burns in the Olympics

VIDEO: Despite the start of fall, wildfire season is not over, according to Commissioner of Public Lands Hillary Franz. She cited continuing rising temperatures and "abnormally" dry vegetation conditions, such as in shrubs, trees, and grass. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Washington state has had 1,855 wildfires so far in 2023. Despite there being over two months left in the year, it has already beat the 10-year average of 1,417 fires. "We’re seeing fires rage through wetter forests, even the Olympic Rainforest. Even though it’s been cooler, we still haven’t seen much rain, and until we do, our forests remain vulnerable to wildfires that can threaten homes and fill our skies with smoke," said Commissioner Franz in a statement.
KING-TV NBC 5 Seattle

Friday, September 22, 2023

6 units impacted by 2-alarm fire at Mukilteo apartment complex

A 2-alarm fire ripped through an apartment complex in Mukilteo early Friday morning, displacing residents living in six apartment units. According to Mukilteo Fire Department Chief Glen Albright, crews responded to a report of a couch on fire on the first floor of an apartment complex on the 12300 block of Harbour Pointe Boulevard just before 3:10 a.m. Friday. The complex is located across the street from Endeavour Elementary School. When crews arrived at the scene, they found a fire that was quickly spreading to the second and third floors of the building. Albright said crews “aggressively” attacked the fire from both sides of the building to get the fire under control. Crews were able to extinguish the fire around 3:40 a.m.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 Seattle

Man rescued from abandoned water tank in Port Angeles

An unidentified man in his 30s was listed in critical condition at Olympic Medical Center on Thursday afternoon after falling into an abandoned water tank on the Rayonier property on the waterfront, the Port Angeles Fire Department said. Firefighters, who were dispatched at about 9 a.m. to a report of a person stuck inside the water tank in the 700 block of North Ennis Street, found the man holding onto a pipe as he floated in the water inside the tank, unable to touch the bottom of the tank, which was estimated at 40 feet tall. The man told rescuers he had fallen into the tank about an hour earlier. They said he showed signs and symptoms of hypothermia and had other injuries as a result of the fall. Although the tank is located on the Rayonier property, it actually belongs to Rayonier Advanced Materials, a manufacturer of high-purity performance fibers located in Jacksonville, Fla., that split from Rayonier in 2014.
KCPQ-TV FOX 13 Seattle

Seattle’s new CARE Department will help provide more response options to public safety calls

Seattle’s mayor hopes to diversify response options to calls for help with the city’s new public safety department. On Thursday, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the launch of the Community Assisted Response and Engagement Department, known as CARE. Sometimes when people call 911, their incident may not be as urgent as other 911 calls. From a welfare check to a car prowl or theft with no suspect information—Chief Adrian Diaz said those were examples of Priority Three and Priority Four level calls. "You have a person down call—where the person is not committing a crime, could be highly intoxicated, might end up needing medical assistance, might need other resources or services. We end up having to go to it, but it’s sometimes calls that could actually be better handled by somebody else," said Diaz.
KCPQ-TV FOX 13 Seattle

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