Hey Yakima Can You Help a Firefighter This Summer?
Would you consider hosting a firefighter for the upcoming summer?
Every spring officials with the Naches Ranger District in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Service hire seasonal employees who need places to live.
Plenty of employees available just not enough places to live
The problem says Naches Ranger District Fire Management Officer Jason Emhoff is that they don't have enough places for the employees to live so that limits the possibility of hiring enough people to cover spring and summer forest work. That's where Emhoff is hoping Yakima residents will help. He says generally seasonal employees need places to stay for 4-6 months and are usually gone during the summer months staying busy with work. Ages range from 19 to 30-years-old.
Forest officials are now putting together a list of places for firefighters to live
He says right now they're just trying to find some extra places that seasonal employees can rent out like a basement apartment or spare bedroom. He says its up to a prospective landlord and the individual to work out terms and conditions. Emhoff says many of the employees are making minimum wage and can't afford to rent an apartment. He says traditionally, many Forest Service districts had plenty of low cost, short term temporary housing available, such as bunkhouses or single family residence facilities.
But they're no longer available because of a lack of funds for maintenance, facilities being sold and having to reduce numbers in the current buildings due to required Covid mitigations.
If you can help contact Jason Emhoff today to get on the list for spring
If you can help contact Naches Ranger District Fire Management Officer Jason Emhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Naches Ranger District at (509) 653-1401