UMATILLA COUNTY – Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 will fight any fires that occur on the county’s portion of what used to be Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot land. The 17,000 acre tract includes land for industrial development. Umatilla County Commissioner John Shafer said that as development occurs, the fire district will become more visible there.
“We’ve set aside some land for them to build a station,” he said. “So we’ll have a manned station out there and they’ll be ready to fight whatever fire may come and handle any medical emergencies that arise out of the Columbia Development Authority land.”
Shafer said it is an area that sees at least one wildland fire a year due to lightning strikes or cigarettes tossed out of cars on Interstate 82. Winds in the area mean fires spread quickly.
“It’s really good to have a quality fire department out there,” he said. UCFD1 will not be the only firefighting organization on the Columbia Development Authority land. Morrow County will be reaching a similar decision for its CDA land.