By Sarah Schrock
While many residents were enjoying the fabulous Saturday weather at the Public School Funding Alliance celebration at Rockchuck Ranch, or perusing the many yard sales or farmers market in town, dedicated firemen were up on Alder Creek for a practice house burn.
Every so often, Okanogan County Fire District 6 gets the opportunity to train on non-emergency house fires where they ignite older homes and get hands on experience. They can practice extinguishing in different spaces and searching in smoke-filled rooms prior to the whole conflagration of the home. The practice burns are unique in that offer a controlled environment to practice different elements of firefighting.
In a real emergency, there are a lot of unknown hazards that pose danger to entering a structure. In these controlled burns, those hazards are mitigated through proper planning. Division Chief Brian McAuliffe spent about a week preparing the home on Alder Creek Road for the training burn.
The home was donated for the burn after the owner decided it wasn’t worth updating as a rental. When a resident wants to donate a house for burning, the fire district welcomes the opportunity, but it doesn’t always work out. Scheduling and seasonal fire dangers play a part in when a house can be used in a training fire. Often homeowners may be in more of a rush to get the property cleared. But when it does work out, firefighters welcome the unique opportunity it provides.
According to McAuliffe, it can be feast or famine. Sometimes a few years pass by without a donated house, other years they have to turn away homes. There is one more scheduled house burn this year, so long as conditions permit.
And in a completely unrelated topic: The question as to how to pronounce “Glover Street” came up in conversation the other night. I have always pronounced it “gluh-ver,” like Danny Glover, the actor — as opposed to “glow-ver.” It seems to be quite split down the middle across people on the street as to the proper pronunciation. Is there an old-timer out there who can set us straight on the matter?