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Posted on: June 13, 2023

EF&R Continues to Pursue Wildfire Readiness Through Partnerships and Training - 5/30/23

The Department of Natural Resources is improving its wildland firefighting capacity by utilizing Eastside Fire & Rescue facilities.

ISSAQUAH, Wash., May 30, 2023 –Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) entered an agreement with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide facilities for apparatus and staff in wildfire-prone areas of their service area. EF&R and DNR have a longstanding partnership, and the addition of DNR resources to two of EF&R's facilities, Station 88 near Wilderness Rim and Station 76 in Mirrormont, will strengthen both agencies' response potential throughout the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) in and around EF&R.

"We are always evaluating the best use of our personnel and resources," said Fire Chief Ben Lane. "Wildfire concerns are growing in our area; this agreement helps the DNR improve its wildland firefighting response and benefits our communities."

DNR began leasing the two stations on May 1. Station 76 will host two DNR wildland engines, and project crews will staff for rapid response for wildland events. Station 88 will host two wildland engines and their equipment.

"EF&R is proud to be a wildland response leader in King County," said Deputy Chief of Operations Will Aho. "Our partnership with DNR enables us to expand those capabilities in various ways."

On June 1, Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) will host a regional training field day at Valley Camp in North Bend, WA, to prepare for wildland season. The training will bring more than eight King County agencies, including the DNR, together to train for wildfire fires in our region. The drill will simulate strike teams of wildfire-specific apparatus responding to an emerging incident. The focus is bringing agencies together to understand capabilities and encourage cooperation. Training will include various wildfire-specific tactics, including responding to fires within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

"EF&R strives to maintain a regional focus on training," said Battalion Chief Jordan Simmonds. "Wildland Urban Interface is a growing threat to our service area and many others."

Wildland Regional Training

Date: June 1st

Time: Training begins at 9 a.m. – Media to arrive at 10 a.m. Training ends at 4 p.m.

In addition to filming wildland training, interviews will be available with the EF&R Wildland Team

Location: Valley Camp, 49515 SE Middle Fork Rd, North Bend, WA 98045

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Eastside Fire & Rescue provides fire and emergency medical services to Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, Carnation, Preston, May Valley, Wilderness Rim, Tiger Mountain, and Woodinville. EF&R averages 15,000 calls per year and employs 188 sworn personnel.

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