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A Message from the Fire Chief

Fire Chief Don ColfelsIn 2008 The Three Rivers Fire Department formed a new Rural Fire Protection District. The residents felt the formation of a District was critical since our area was previously “unprotected” and is an extreme risk to fire. In 2012 the district considered changing the name of the newly formed district to a name that more closely represented the entire fire district and the outlying area. Lake Chinook Fire & Rescue was selected as the new name for the Three Rivers Rural Fire Protection District. The governing board of the fire district held a public hearing and voted on May 14, 2012 to change the name.

This Fire District is primarily a retirement area consisting of clusters of homes and small businesses near Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon. It is comprised of 4 subdivisions, surrounding ranch lots and project lands co-owned by Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Over the past 3 decades, many properties owners have moved to the area and established a retirement residence. The population is for the most part retirement age residents. This growth is expected to continue as it is an unincorporated Urban Interface, very remote and very desirable.

The Rural Fire Protection District responds to a population of approximately 250-300 year round residents. Homes range from mobile trailers to multi-million dollar, 6000 sq. ft. homes. A popular year-round destination for camping and water sports, this area swells to over 5000 visitors on any given weekend during the summer. Our Department responds to all calls from the Cove Palisades State Park on the Deshutes arm of Lake Billy Chinook to Green Ridge which is an area of approximately 40 Sq Miles.

The fire district has had a great start, we have increased our service level with increased training and the aquistion of new apparatus. We see the need so we have begun to plan for the future. With this growth, the anticipated future growth and the desire to continually improve our service level to the community, the district has begun the planning process of building a new fire station. The new station would be built utilizing federal dollars, various grants and private donations. The process has begun with the land owners of Three Rivers Landowners association voting to grant the Fire District 3.23 acres on Graham Rd. Now that the district has the land, we can begin to look for funding. This overall process may take some time depending upon the amount of grant dollars and private donations we can attract.

We are currently looking to begin the initial site plan review and to begin pulling the necessary permits to begin the process.

I will try to keep everyone as informed as possible as the process begins.

If you have any question or concerns about your new fire district, I am always available. Please call me at 541-629-8911 or email don@lakechinookfireandrescue.org

Don Colfels,
Fire Chief