Forest Grove Annual Town Meeting: Future of fire services in Forest Grove, and Gales Creek, too

Forest Grove – The annual town meeting in Forest Grove usually doesn’t have much to offer a Gales Creek resident, but this year, it’s a little different: Featuring Forest Grove Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Kinkade, this year’s topic is titled “The Future of Fire Services in Forest Grove.”
It will be held Saturday, January 27 from 9-12 p.m. at the Forest Grove Community Auditorium located at 1915 Main Street in Forest Grove.
Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be provided. 

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue doesn’t just serve the City of Forest Grove- with a decades-old agreement in place, the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District, which includes Gales Creek, Verboort, Dilley, and other unincorporated communities outside of Forest Grove, is served by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, too. 

Kinkade also serves as Chief for Cornelius Fire Department and Gaston Rural Fire District, leaving a close connection between almost all regions of western Washington County.

The three fire agencies even share a website

Banks Fire District #13, an almost all-volunteer force, is headed by Chief Rodney Linz and is the only independent western Washington County fire agency that isn’t headed by Kinkade, though the two fire agencies often share duties on calls in Gales Creek and between Banks and Forest Grove.

North Plains and surrounding areas are now served by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue after Washington County Fire District 2 was officially dissolved in 2017.

At this year’s Annual Town Meeting, Kinkade will walk through the potential advantages of becoming a regional fire authority, joining Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, or remaining an independent agency. 

Chief Michael Kinkade speaks at a Gales Creek Neighborhood Watch meeting on October 21, 2014. Photo by Chas Hundley //Gales Creek Journal

The concept of Forest Grove Fire & Rescue forming a regional fire authority with other nearby agencies is not new; Gales Creek residents who attended the October 21, 2014 Gales Creek Neighborhood Watch presentation about the Scoggins Fire by Chief Kinkade at the Gales Creek School may recall that the topic was discussed then. City of Forest Grove leaders also discussed the concept during a work session in February 2017, as reported by the Forest Grove News-Times.

After the main topic, there will be a question-and-answer segment, with City of Forest Grove elected leaders and senior staff available to answer questions. 

Sources and more information: 

Facebook event for the town meeting
Website for Forest Grove, Cornelius, and Gaston Fire agencies.
Forest Grove News Times article about Forest Grove City Council discussion regarding fire authority.