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colockum-park-210San Juan Island Fire Rescue sent three firefighters and two vehicles Saturday, July 27 to assist at a fire located near Wenatchee.

The "Colockum Park" fire is located in Chelan County. Since the fire was discovered earlier on Saturday, it is reported to have grown to an area covering more than 1.5 square miles.

Lieutenant Tad Lean will be working as a “Strike Team Leader” trainee. Strike Team Leaders are responsible for numerous firefighters and fire engines while working on the fire lines.

Firefighters Michael Henderson and Joseph Foriska are operating a "Brush Truck" which is a pickup-sized fire engine specifically designed for wildland fire responses.

The Washington State Ferry System agreed to delay the sailing for the ferry Kaleetan for five minutes so that the emergency responders would not be delayed for several hours.

San Juan Island Fire Rescue participates in the Statewide Fire Mobilization System, coordinated by the State Fire Marshal. The system reimburses participating agencies for their costs.

The firefighters that participate gain valuable experience that they bring back with them and share with all of the island’s firefighters. In addition, should a major fire ever threaten San Juan County, the State Mobilization System will be available to send critical and timely assistance.

BACKGROUND: San Juan Island Fire Rescue serves all of San Juan Island – including the Town of Friday Harbor – as well as Brown and Pearl Islands. Through a contract with the State Department of Natural Resources, the fire district also provides wildland fire suppression for all of San Juan County’s non-ferry served islands.

Predominantly staffed by volunteers, the agency operates seven fire stations, numerous fire engines and other vehicles as well as the region’s only fire boat. In 2012, the fire department responded to 241 calls for service.

Residents of Brown, Pearl and San Juan Islands are encouraged to contact the fire department if they are interested in becoming a firefighter. The next recruit academy begins in September at the Mullis Street fire station.colockum-park-1

PHOTO CREDIT: Don Seabrook – Wenatchee World