Fire station closes, limits emergency coverage along I-90
KITTITAS COUNTY--A dispute between government agencies may leave you unprotected on your next drive over Snoqualmie Pass.
Right now, Kittitas County's had to close one of their fire stations.
Fire District #8 serves upper Kittitas County, including Interstate 90 from Easton to the summit of Snoqualmie Pass.
Fire station 83's been shut down until spring, leaving only one station to respond to accidents on I-90 or in the snow parks of the upper county.
Kittitas County Fire District Commissioner Bob Angrisano said that station is not often staffed during the week. The next closest emergency personnel are currently located Kittitas Valley Community Hospital in Cle Elum, a 30-minute drive from Easton.
The fire district had an agreement allowing them to use a U.S. Forest Service road for emergency travel. Forest Service Road 54 and adjoining roads close during the winter.
Last week, the U.S. Forest Service revoked that agreement.
"We have one of the busiest snowmobile snow parks in the state within 1500 feet of the station they just shut down," Angrisand said.
Fire district 8 has sued to reopen the road.
The district and Forest Service have until March 1 to reach an agreement, or a court mediator will make a decision on opening the road and thus, reopening the station.