Saturday, June 22, 2024

District fire crews train on controlled burn

Public safety


BRIDGEPORT – Crews from all four stations in Douglass Okanogan Fire District 15 gathered at the Zahn Ranch near Bridgeport on Nov. 4 to hone their attack and suppression skills on a controlled burn structure donated to the district as a training tool.

Those who do not regularly attend the district’s monthly meeting may not be aware of the number and variety of calls each station responds to in a given month. A review of meeting notes compiled and published for August 2023, provides a snapshot of what a typical month involves.


Chief Bill Vallance reported 52 calls for service since the July meeting and 336 calls this year. The average is about 150 calls annually.

Valance, the district’s first and only chief, announced his retirement effective June 30 this year. He has agreed to remain in his position until a new chief is hired and trained.

Each station has their own command staff who respond to a variety of calls including structural, wildland, vehicle accidents, rescue, and more.


Chief Kerry Heen said his firefighters responded to 14 calls in the last 30 days. Firefighters completed wildland sandbox and new fire truck training. rope rescue, pump drafting, and EVA training is scheduled for this week.

The Pateros station at 191 Industrial Way has 12 volunteers including officers.


Chief Nolan Tonseth said his station responded to one tractor rollover incident. The previous month firefighters responded to three wildland fire calls.

The Methow station at 32 Main Street has eight volunteers including officers.


Chief Victor Vargas said his crew responded to a structure fire, three MVAs, a couple of brush fires, three calls canceled en route, one assist out of the district and three assists within the district and one outside.

The Brewster station at 108 S. Third Street has 18 volunteers including officers.


Chief Sal Rodriguez said his firefighters responded to two MVAs and one wildland fire. The Rocky Butte firefighters completed station maintenance and trained for two nights with Brewster firefighters.

The Rocky Butte station at 2 Moe Road on Bridgeport Bar has four volunteers including the chief.

To learn more about your fire district visit docfd15com online.

Mike Maltais:360-333-8483,

Mike Maltais:360-333-8483,



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