by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
April 30, 1998
Last fall, Steve Wallace told the Community Council that the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District were trying to work closer together to increase efficiency of fighting fire in the Seeley area. Wallace is the DNRC Clearwater Unit Manger.
In doing so, the DNRC made the following proposal to the Seeley Fire District at the October 1997 regular business meeting. DNRC would fund the construction of an addition to the existing Seeley Lake Fire station, which would allow the Clearwater DNRC to house two engines in Seeley year round. The Fire District approved the proposal and welcomed the opportunity to work together.
According to Seeley Fire Chief Jim White, "It's going to benefit the community in that we will have two extra engines on patrol or at the station during wildland fire season. This will allow a quicker response to wildland interface fires. It's a great opportunity for the Seeley Fire District and the DNRC to join forces to protect our community against fire."
Clearwater DNRC Unit Fire Supervisor Colin Moon said that DNRC assessed the fire protection in the Clearwater, and Seeley Lake is one of the areas with high value.
Moon said that the addition will be the only real cost involved in this cooperative effort. He said that they do not anticipate any additional expense to either the Fire Department or DNRC.
"We are simply relocating the vehicles and crews, which allows for a much quicker response time," Moon said.
Funding for the project is coming out of the State General Revenue Fund. Chief White estimates the cost of the addition at approximately $16,000. DNRC will also station a two-person crew at the fire hall during fire season.
The vehicles and crews have been stationed at the Clearwater Unit Station, which is 17 miles south of Seeley.
The addition to the fire station is scheduled to begin in May or June.