Douglas Commissioners hear firefighter concerns over rural road standards

firefighter concerns

The board met with Kurt Blanchard on Monday to discuss his concerns about the problems fire crews encounter when trying to access structure fires on primitive gravel roads. NCWLIFE Senior News Correspondent, Steve Hair reports . . .

Over 80 percent of the County’s road mileage is unpaved with some areas seeing increasing development of single family homes. Blanchard is concerned about changes being considered that would exempt private driveways from international fire code standards.

Commissioners maintain that land owners who build rural homes are subject to the County’s code of the west meaning they recognize they may not receive the same level of services of city dwellers. Commissioner Kyle Steinburg says he’s more concerned about over-regulation.

Commissioner Dan Sutton suggested that voluntary measures might be undertaken by landowners to improve access for firefighters without infringing on private property rights.

There was no action taken at Monday’s work session. Commissioners say they will take Blanchard’s concerns into consideration as they continue their review of existing road standards. 

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.