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Lake Chinook FD honored for fire-watch Webcams

CULVER, Ore. - Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue was presented with the Outstanding Special District Safety Award at the annual Special Districts of Oregon Conference in Portland on Feb. 9.

Special Districts of Oregon provides support to approximately 915 special districts throughout the state. The awards program recognizes members for accomplishments that allow them to provide a better service to the public. Criteria for the award include efforts in the areas of ingenuity, creativity, public involvement in a district decision making process, safety, and outstanding achievement.

Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue was selected for this award for their implementation of an early wildfire detection program utilizing web cams atop a 90 foot tower. This new camera system will allow local fire authorities to remotely monitor the rural areas around Lake Billy Chinook for wildfires.

The project, known as FireCam, uses webcams to show firefighters, incident commanders, and dispatchers a real time, 360-degree view of areas that were previously difficult to view. The new FireCams provide a clear view of approximately 60 square miles and is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through the internet.

Pine Telephone System Inc. recently built the tower to improve telephone and broadband access in the Lake Chinook area. They were instrumental in planning and implementing this life and property saving system in partnership with Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue.

These remote control cameras can pan east over the Crooked River National Grasslands, west to the Deschutes National Forest and all of the private protection areas in between. State and federal partners may also access these web cams to improve views that fire lookouts may have a difficult time seeing in this area.

For more information, contact Chief Don Colfels at 541-771-0992 or email at

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