Name change is designed to better reflect the areas that it serves
In August of this year, the city of Woodland annexed into the fire district. While Clark County Fire & Rescue (CCF&R) has served Woodland since 2013 through an annual contract, the annexation makes Woodland a permanent part of the fire district.
Woodland has territory in both Clark County and Cowlitz County, with most of the city’s population living in Cowlitz County. Woodland is one of only six cities in Washington with areas in two counties. The others are all in the Puget Sound area.
The Cowlitz Indian Reservation was established in northwest Clark County in 2010. Clark County Fire & Rescue has provided service to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe through a contract since 2015. The ilani Resort is located on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation. In addition to expansion at the resort, the Cowlitz Tribe plans to increase services to tribal members with new senior housing and other amenities on the reservation.
According to Fire Chief John Nohr, “With the recent annexation of the City of Woodland into the fire district and our partnership with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe to protect their reservation, it makes good sense to add Cowlitz into our name.”
Clark County Fire & Rescue was established in 2008 when two fire districts, Clark County Fire District #11 and Clark County Fire District #12, merged to form one large fire district. The newly formed CCF&R served the cities of Battle Ground, La Center, and Ridgefield. Several other fire districts have annexed into CCF&R and its predecessor departments over the years.
CCF&R encompasses over 125 square miles of northwest Clark County and southwest Cowlitz County, and stretches from 179th Street and Salmon Creek at the southern end of the district to Dike Road in Woodland at the northern end of the district. CCF&R also stretches east to Highway 503 and Lewisville Park.
Annexations and mergers are becoming more common throughout the country as residents look to get more for their emergency services dollars. There have been over twenty fire district mergers and annexations in Washington since 2017.
“People recognize that modern technology allows our fire departments to be better managed with fewer administrators. We don’t need the redundancy of several small fire districts or city fire departments, each with their own fire chief, assistant chiefs, and management staff. Mergers and annexations reduce overhead costs and allow precious emergency services dollars to be spent putting firefighters/paramedics on fire engines so we can provide a better service to our citizens,” said Nohr.
All CCF&R fire stations and response units will remain in the same locations. The contact information will also remain the same. The only change is that CCF&R, Clark County Fire & Rescue, is becoming CCFR, Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.