By LT. CAMARI OLSON
Fire Public Information Officer
With hot summers increasing the risk of wildland fires here, the Bellevue Fire Department is better prepared now with a specialized fire engine designed to operate in rough terrain. A $150,000 donation from Amazon to the Bellevue Fire Foundation made the acquisition possible.
The state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service conducted a risk analysis that revealed areas in Bellevue, particularly Lakemont, along with parts of Clyde Hill, Medina, Newcastle, and the Points, all of which are served by Bellevue Fire, are at risk of wildland fires.
During the department’s last accreditation, the need for additional equipment and training for wildland fires was identified; specifically, a four-wheel-drive “brush truck” with a water tank on it.
Though the department is well-funded, acquiring specialized resources was beyond the scope of the budget, so Fire Chief Jay Hagen enlisted the help of a local fundraising consultant to establish a foundation that could aid in meeting additional needs. The Bellevue Fire Foundation was established in November 2020.
With the Amazon grant, the department has acquired a truck, which it’s now customizing. The brush truck could be in service by late summer, when the wildland fire threat is highest.