No volunteers had signed up as of March 25 to staff Lost Mountain Station 36. Clallam County Fire District 3 fire commissioners said they’d like a minimum of six to consider keeping it open, otherwise they will sell it to offset construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

No volunteers had signed up as of March 25 to staff Lost Mountain Station 36. Clallam County Fire District 3 fire commissioners said they’d like a minimum of six to consider keeping it open, otherwise they will sell it to offset construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Lost Mountain fire station near Sequim could be sold

Second recruitment meeting renders no volunteers

SEQUIM — Lost Mountain Fire Station 36 could go up for sale to help Clallam County Fire District 3 offset construction costs for a new Carlsborg Station 33.

A dozen people, including two fire district staffers and a fire commissioner, attended the latest volunteer recruitment meeting on March 19 that district officials described in a postcard as “the final phase of the District’s recruitment efforts” for Station 36.

The crowd was about a third of the size of an October recruitment meeting. As of March 25, no volunteers had signed up, according to District 3 volunteer coordinator John McKenzie.

Resident Norm Nelson said the demographics on Lost Mountain may have aged out of being able to volunteer at the needed level.

“When they discussed the requirements for combat firefighters, that seemed to temper everyone’s expectations,” he said.

Twelve people — including two Clallam County Fire District 3 staffers and a fire commissioner — met on March 19 inside Lost Mountain Station 36 to discuss further options for keeping it open as it’s been without an active volunteer since 2021. The building was constructed in 1980 and had 12 active volunteers when it first opened. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Twelve people — including two Clallam County Fire District 3 staffers and a fire commissioner — met on March 19 inside Lost Mountain Station 36 to discuss further options for keeping it open as it’s been without an active volunteer since 2021. The building was constructed in 1980 and had 12 active volunteers when it first opened. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

District officials have said they’d need at least six volunteers living within five miles of the station that must train two nights a week, and all day on Saturday for four months initially, pass a physical and complete drills once a month.

As another option, residents asked if pursuing emergency medical technician (EMT) training would qualify since it requires less physicality.

Commissioner Mike Mingee said it poses a different type of question, and if six people volunteered to become EMTs, he’d consider revisiting the sale discussion with fellow commissioners. However, he told residents the station isn’t a good fiscal decision for the district as it requires maintenance and is currently unused.

The fire station has been without an active volunteer since 2021 and it’s been used as storage for about a decade without any vehicles.

Retired Fire Chief Steve Vogel said 10 acres of land was sold to the fire district by Mort Whittaker, and the district sold all but 1 acre to construct the fire station at 40 Texas Valley Road. The station opened with 12 volunteers on June 4, 1980, Vogel said.

Before another discussion by commissioners on the fire station sale sometime this month, those interested in volunteering can contact McKenzie at volunteer@ccfd3.org.

Fires

Residents shared concerns about fire response for potential wildfires nearby in times of drought, especially since the October recruitment meeting was held a few weeks after ash was found on vehicles and in yards from wildfires in Olympic National Park.

Mingee said the best thing homeowners can do in rural areas is have defensible space in their yards, referring to available programs through the state Department of Natural Resources.

McKenzie said staff are working on providing information for residents to better prep their yards and homes to prevent fires.

“The work we put in on preparation and neighbors’ properties buys us the time to get there,” Fire Chief Justin Grider said.

Jim Emett with Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 3 said in a major disaster they anticipate being on their own on Lost Mountain potentially due to landslides. He is one of six members in a Lost Mountain subset of CERT 3 that started a year ago with hopes of expanding and making its own squad.

Those interested in joining that team or another Sequim-area team can contact Cindy Zechenelly at czechenelly@ccfd3.org.

Carlsborg

Currently, Carlsborg Station 33 has three firefighters/medics who would respond to Lost Mountain’s calls. They have about an eight-minute response time to the area, Grider said.

Lost Mountain Station 36 is about 6 miles south of U.S. Highway 101.

Mingee said the “level of service we have here is pretty much unheard of in rural areas.”

Staff continue to develop plans for a new Carlsborg Station at the current Training and Operation Center property on Carlsborg Road that would accommodate up to six firefighters.

Station 33 was last remodeled in 2001 to accommodate 24/7 staffing, Vogel said.

If the fire commissioners do decide to sell Lost Mountain Station 36, Mingee said they’d first commission a market analysis to see what it could sell for.

Fire commissioners approved the sale of the district’s 1.96-acre East Anderson Road property, formerly slated for a new volunteer Dungeness Station 31, for $160,000 last year. A sale was pending as of March 25 for the district’s 5.2 acres of land in the 100 block of Sieberts Creek Road. It was listed through Mark McHugh Real Estate for $175,000.

For more about Clallam County Fire District 3, visit ccfd3.org.

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