Four new generators will be installed this fall to provide emergency power for Okanogan County Fire District 6 stations in the Methow Valley.
The fire district has been working to acquire the generators for almost three years. District officials applied for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the wake of the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire, which knocked out power to much of the valley for more than a week.
The district was awarded $268,000 to purchase and install the generators from FEMA under its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. That program helps communities implement measures after a disaster declaration to reduce risks to life and property from future disasters.
FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost of the generators, and the district and the state each pay a 12.5 percent match.
The generators are expected to arrive in early October, and be installed by November, said District 6 Interim Chief Cody Acord. Three generators will be powered by propane and permanently installed at stations in Twisp, Carlton and Mazama. They will be wired in to the stations’ electrical systems and will be able to power the entire station during a power outage. The fourth generator will be a diesel-powered mobile unit at the Winthrop station.
Currently, the district has smaller portable generators that are able to operate lights and open the station doors in an emergency, Acord said.
The fire district will also receive FEMA funding for a new wildland firefighting engine to replace an aging vehicle, Acord said. The funding was awarded for a $172,250 grant proposal that was submitted by Rusty Stamps, a division chief with the district.
An additional wildland engine will be purchased through a loan obtained earlier this year, said Acord. The wildland engines will replace trucks that are 25 years old, he said. The loan is also expected to fund a new rescue/support vehicle, Acord said. The new vehicles should be delivered by next spring, he said.