Fire safety boosted

Projects in Blue River and Leaburg moving forward


Samantha Winningham

The walls should start going up within a week. The walls and roofing should be complete by early September. If there are no hiccups, we should start moving fire equipment in by January 1.

Blue River Fire Station

The $250,000 grant the Lane County Board of Commissioners approved at their May 23rd meeting is part of the funds helping make a new firehouse for the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District a reality. After more than three years of effort, concrete for the foundation was poured last week.

The lot, at 51742 Dexter Street lot was purchased for the new station in September of 2021 In January a construction contract was awarded to the low bidder, Bridgeway Construction of Lowell, for $1,886,826., Plans call for the new fire station to be up and ready by November.

The new station will cover 2,669 square feet - with two full-size engine bays, a training room, a locker room, bathrooms, and some storage space.

While the contractors are busy, Mike Godfrey, president of the UMRFPD board, said the fire chief and volunteers will be busy procuring a new fire engine to replace the one burned in the fire, along with the hundreds of pieces of equipment needed for a fire station and to equip the truck.

Leaburg Logistics Center

Thanks to state and private funding, McKenzie Fire & Rescue has broken ground for the construction of the Disaster Relief Logistics Center (DRLC). The project, designed and managed by Ausland Group of Eugene, is intended to serve multiple emergency-related functions, including the temporary staging of equipment and people during large-scale all-hazard events. It will also allow the department to pre-stage deployments, provide temporary relief to community members, and act as both a regional and state training center.

Keri Best

Crews began work on a new Emergency Operations Center for McKenzie Fire & Rescue this week in Leaburg.

McKenzie Fire Chief Daren Bucich says "The primary purpose of this building is to provide an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for an Incident Command team to work from, a storage for a supply cache of equipment required for response teams during the emergency, and a store of non-perishable food, water, hygiene items, sleeping bags, cots, etc, for community members to use immediately following the incident until disaster relief organizations can rally to support them."

He went on to note that, "we are appreciative of the state-wide support received for the DRLC and are working hard to build strong multi-agency partnerships. A facility like this along the McKenzie Corridor will also benefit utility companies, Search & Rescue, law enforcement, federal, state, city, and county agencies along with the community members."

The new structure is slated for completion in the fall of 2023. The district will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at that time to celebrate the end of the project with the community.

Any comments or questions can be directed to Chief Bucich at McKenzie Fire & Rescue; at 541-896-3311 or [email protected]


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