Eastside Fire & Rescue summer burn ban starts June 15

June 3, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 3, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue is reminding residents about the heightened risk for fires accompanies in the drier days ahead.

The agency is due to impose a summer burn ban June 15 for residents in Issaquah, Sammamish and nearby communities. Though a rain-soaked spring may make such a moratorium seem unnecessary, summer brings a heightened risk for fires. The moratorium is in effect through Sept. 30.

For summertime cookouts, propane, natural gas and charcoal fires do not require a burn permit.

Fires cannot be larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. Use only dry, seasoned wood to fuel recreational fires.

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Use fire safety tips for a safe Memorial Day weekend

May 25, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 25, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources urges people headed outdoors for Memorial Day weekend to help prevent wildland fires.

Though temperatures remain on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend attracts a higher-than-average number of visitors to forests, raising wildfire concerns. Firefighters have responded to 51 wildland fires so in 2012.

“We want everyone to enjoy their Memorial Day weekend, while being safe and taking simple steps to prevent an accidental wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “An escaped campfire can threaten lives, property, and drain scarce tax dollars.”

Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish campfires. The state urges people to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits in designated areas.

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Time change is reminder to change clocks, batteries

March 6, 2012

Prepare to spring forward as daylight saving time starts at 2 a.m. March 11.

Set clocks one hour ahead before bedtime and plan accordingly. Many computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices make the adjustment automatically.

The time change also serves as a reminder to change smoke alarm batteries. Public safety experts recommend changing batteries at least once a year and testing smoke detectors monthly. Most battery-powered smoke detectors chirp as the battery weakens.

During daylight saving time, the sun appears to rise later in the morning and set later in the evening, seemingly stretching the day.

The winter-to-fall daylight saving time period lasts until Nov. 1.

Turnout hit 28 percent in February special election

March 6, 2012

Turnout in the Feb. 14 election to decide a $5.5 million bond for fire station construction reached 28 percent, King County Elections announced Feb. 28, as officials certified the election results.

State law required the Fire District 10 bond measure to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a turnout of at least 4,418 voters. The measure received a 64.7 percent yes vote from a turnout of 5,863 voters. (The district includes 20,791 registered voters.)

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

Overall, elections officials issued 189,753 ballots for measures in Fire District 10 and school districts elsewhere in King County. The elections office predicted 38 percent turnout overall in the special elections, but turnout reached 32 percent in the contests.

Turnout reached 28 percent in February fire district election

February 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 29, 2012

Turnout in the Feb. 14 election to decide a $5.5 million bond for fire station construction reached 28 percent, King County Elections announced Tuesday, as officials certified the election results.

State law required the Fire District 10 bond measure to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a turnout of at least 4,418 voters. The measure received a 64.7 percent yes vote from a turnout of 5,863 voters. (The district includes 20,791 registered voters.)

Fire District 10 is the Eastside Fire & Rescue partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

The district encompasses about 130 square miles and about 28,000 people.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue honors late volunteer firefighter

February 28, 2012

Colleagues remember longtime Eastside Fire & Rescue Volunteer Battalion Chief John Waltosz as a firefighter committed to the agency and public service, even as the landscape and the fire department changed.

John Waltosz

Waltosz, 83, died Feb. 19 after a long career in EFR and, earlier, in a rural fire district and future EFR partner.

“He had tremendous respect for the fire service, and he wanted to make sure that everyone else who joined the fire service had that same sort of respect for the job, service to the public, service to the customers,” EFR Battalion Chief Dave McDaniel said.

Waltosz imparted a respect for the agency on fledgling members as the United States Army veteran recruited and trained residents to respond to fires and other emergencies.

“When new volunteers came into the agency, he always took them under his wing,” McDaniel said. “He really set them in the direction of what the fire service is as a volunteer, this is how it’s going to run. He was just a stickler for that.”

Waltosz lived near Station 78 — in the Coalfield area near Renton city limits — and responded to calls in the Coalfield, Lake Kathleen, Maple Hills and May Valley areas before retiring in November 1998. Waltosz started as a Fire District 10 volunteer firefighter 33 years earlier in January 1965. (Fire District 10 later joined EFR as a partner organization.)

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Fire District 10 voters OK $5.5 million bond to relocate fire station

February 21, 2012

Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — received approval to build a fire station and upgrade other facilities as voters approved a $5.5 million bond in a special election Feb. 14.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

The district asked the electorate to OK the bond to fund a rebuilt Station 78 and improvements to other fire stations throughout the sprawling district. The price tag for the rebuilt station alone is expected to reach $4.5 million.

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Fire District 10 voters approve $5.5 million bond to relocate fire station

February 15, 2012

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — received approval to build a fire station and upgrade other facilities as voters approved a $5.5 million bond in a special election Tuesday.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

The district asked the electorate to OK the bond to fund a rebuilt Station 78 and improvements to other fire stations throughout the sprawling district. The price tag for the rebuilt station alone is expected to reach $4.5 million.

Homeowners should pay about 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value — or about $3 per month for a home assessed at $400,000 — to fund the bond. The district last asked voters to approve a bond in the mid-1990s.

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Bellevue utility tax hits some Issaquah residents

February 7, 2012

Bellevue officials decided Jan. 23 to impose a utility tax on water customers in Greenwood Point and South Cove — Issaquah neighborhoods served by the Bellevue municipal water system.

Bellevue City Council members approved extending a utility occupation tax to the water utility’s revenue, including for customers beyond Bellevue. Starting March 1, customers should start to see a 10.4 percent increase on water bills. The change does not affect customers in Bellevue.

Officials intend to use the additional dollars for fire hydrants, oversized pipes and reservoir storage.

The decision followed a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling related to how cities pay for municipal fire hydrants. The ruling in Lane v. Seattle identified hydrants as a general government service and not a utility.

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King County Elections predicts 38 percent turnout in February election

February 7, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County Elections mailed 186,500 ballots for a half dozen special districts late last month, and officials expect voters to return almost 71,000 ballots in the Feb. 14 election.

In the Issaquah area, Fire District 10 officials asked citizens to decide on a $5.5 million bond to fund a fire station replacement and other capital projects. The district — a partner in Eastside Fire & Rescue — includes Klahanie, May Valley, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

Fire District 10 officials said a fire station built in May Valley could improve response times for rural residents and alleviate the workload for Fire Station 71 along East Sunset Way in downtown Issaquah — a station responsible for serving many neighborhoods inside city limits.

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