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Washington Voices

Study up on community’s fire districts and safety precautions

Well, the holidays are over, we still haven’t had any significant snow and it is 2010! Wow, what happened to 2009? Didn’t it go by awfully fast? Or, as we get older, do they all go by faster?

Let’s start off the year with a few winter safety reminders.

First, some heating cautions. Many of us out here in the north countryside have wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. They can be an economical source of heat, but it is imperative to clean out chimneys and stovepipes. And remember, burn seasoned, dried wood. If you use electric space heaters, keep them a safe distance from flammable materials. And please don’t use propane or gas stoves or ovens to heat your home.

So far we have been lucky not to have the mounds of snow we had last year. But if there is significant snow, be sure to keep your driveway or entry area clear enough for emergency vehicles to get in. By the way, do you have your vertical address sign in front of your home? If not, you can e-mail Pat Humphries at or call the Fire District 4 office at (509) 467-4500.

District 4, including nine fire stations, protects 330 square miles of north Spokane County where there are approximately 40,000 residents. The four stations that have full- and part-time staff are Deer Park Station 41, Colbert Station 44, Riverside Station 46 and Wayside Station 49.

The other five volunteer stations are Chattaroy Station 42, Elk Station 43, Wild Rose Station 45, Green Bluff Station 47 and Mount Spokane Station 48. The District 4 administrative office and maintenance station is at the Chattaroy station. Visit the District 4 Web site at for addresses. The Web site has a wealth of valuable information and some good links.

District 4 is looking for volunteers. The district provides all training and equipment; so if you have time to learn some valuable skills, consider applying for an educational and challenging opportunity to serve your community. For information or an application packet, contact Lena Mack at (509) 467-4500 or visit the Web site.

Fire District 4 recently lost a 45-year veteran firefighter and elected fire commissioner.

Robert “Bob” F. Lansberry accomplished many improvements for Fire District 4 during his years of service. He died Nov. 28 and will be missed by the community and his fellow board members.

The board of commissioners has three members, each serving a six-year term. The position qualifications include being a registered voter residing within the boundaries of District 4, being available to attend a minimum of two evening meeting per month and filing appropriate information with the Public Disclosure Commission. Application packets are available at the administration office behind the Chattaroy Station, 3219 E. Chattaroy Road, or by calling (509) 467-4500 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Applications will be accepted until Jan. 22. Resumes and letters of interest are required. Commissioners James Lahde and Jack Hensley will screen the applications and hold interviews. The new commissioner appointment will be made by Feb. 26. Questions about the position should be directed to Chief Edward Lewis at (509) 467-4500.

As you may remember, the community of Elk lies partially in Pend Oreille County. So that northern strip of Elk is in Pend Oreille Fire District 1 serviced by the new Camden Station on Dunn Road. Diane Wear is organizing an auxiliary to support the firefighters. The next meeting will be Sunday at the Camden Station at 7 p.m. For more information, call Walt Johnston at (509) 496-3995.

Keep fire safety in mind as we finish out our winter season and have a wonderful 2010!

Contact correspondent Billie Martin by e-mail at


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