BEND, Ore. - The city of Redmond unveiled plans this week to build a new regional interagency wildfire dispatch center that will be leased out to the U.S. Forest Service next year.
The 7,000-square-foot facility will be the new home for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, which serves the U.S Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The current dispatch center is located at the Prineville Airport. The new site will be at the Redmond Airport, near the Forest Service's Redmond Air Center.
A Forest Service representative service said the Prineville location was only a temporary location until it found the right spot for their central command center.
"It's kind of a great central location where all of our fire resources are, making it a little safer to dispatch out of there, and also more efficient," Public Affairs Specialist Jean Nelson-Dean said Friday.
The city will go out for bonds to pay for the $2.5 million project, which will be repaid by a 20-year lease with the Forest Service.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said the new dispatch center will provide the space needed for fire operations
"The dispatch center has a normal staff of eight, but it expands during fire season and other disasters to 35," he said. "So there is a lot of room for expansion, and if we ever have to actually build onto the building, we can do that as well."
The city of Redmond expects to break ground on the dispatch center by August.