Community, Gales Creek, News

Gales Creek Fire Station to get new coat of paint

The Gales Creek Fire Station is scheduled to receive a new coat of paint starting Monday, May 14.

According to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue spokesperson Dave Nemeyer, the station has kept the same coat of paint since the structure was built in 1982.

Now, contractors have been hired to paint the station, located in downtown Gales Creek, the adjacent volunteer house, and the fire alarm bell.

A combination of the colors Garden Gate and Iron Ore will be used on the main body and trim of the fire station and the house.

“This was the natural progression of things to really modernize the place,” Nemeyer said in a phone call with the Gales Creek Journal.

People who’ve driven past the station of late may have noticed the test colors painted on the station. Photo and graphic: Chas Hundley

That progression was started, Nemeyer said, when siding on the more than four-decades old building began to to pull away from the wall. The siding and windows were replaced, and the agency is tackling new lighting installations, too.

Volunteers spruced up the grounds around the station in 2023 to prepare for a celebration marking 50 years of firefighting in Gales Creek.

The Gales Creek Fire Station and the adjacent property house equipment and infrastructure from three different firefighting agencies that provide services to the area.

The main building, a three-bay, single story structure with a small set of basic rooms to one side, was built in 1982. It’s jointly owned by the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District and, through the city of Forest Grove, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

The Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District is governed by a small elected board, covering the communities of Gales Creek, Dilley, Watts, Verboort, portions of areas near Roy, Hillside, and other rural unincorporated areas near, but not in, the city of Forest Grove.

The Gales Creek Fire Station is the sole fire station in the district.

Also on the site is a manufactured home placed on an adjoining lot which provides free housing as an incentive to volunteers to live in Gales Creek and respond to emergency calls when they are available.

The site also prominently features an antique, though not operable, fire warning tower, which will also be painted.

On the property facing Highway 8, a fire danger sign operated by the Oregon Department of Forestry notes current public fire restrictions for the area protected by the ODF. The Oregon Department of Forestry also frequently stages a firefighting vehicle at the station during times of high fire danger, owing to Gales Creek’s close proximity to ODF-protected lands in and near the Tillamook State Forest.

The Gales Creek Fire Station is located at 52155 NW Old Wilson River Road.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Volunteer Coordinator Steve Black at Forest Grove Fire & Rescue by calling 503-992-3195 or by emailing [email protected].

The Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District board usually meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Forest Grove Fire & Rescue offices in Forest Grove (1919 Ash Street). The meeting is open to the public, and includes a portion of time for members of the public to speak before the board for three minutes.

More information can be found by calling Forest Grove Fire & Rescue at 503-992-3240.

Newell Place Fire

A small brush fire in Gales Creek Saturday was sparked by a burn pile that had been thought extinguished that morning.

According to a statement by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, crews out of the Forest Grove Fire Station, including a Gales Creek volunteer responded to reports of a brush fire on Newell Place, a small road off Timmerman Road just north of Balm Grove.

“When firefighters arrived, they found a small brush fire that spread high up into a cluster of trees,” FGF&R said.

While the fire was quickly extinguished, reaching the hot spots high in the trees proved difficult.

“Crews were able to find a local logger to come fall the trees, allowing full extinguishment of the fire,” FGF&R said.

FGF&R was aided by the Banks Fire District.

The cause of the fire was a burn pile thought to have been extinguished that morning.

“Please remember that when you have a burn pile, completely wet it down when you’re done and that the ground is cool to the touch,” the fire agency said.

The scene of a brush fire Saturday, May 11 2024 on Newell Place. Photo: FGF&R
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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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