Fire dept. enjoys burst of new members


June 8, 2023

Grace Moore

The fire department watched over the burning of the municipal slash pile last Wednesday with six firefighters on hand. Assistant fire chief Don Lancaster described the debris as approximately 15 feet long, 25 feet wide. "We got a pretty good burn on it, even though there was moisture in it...there was one end [with] moisture in some grass clippings and we didn't get the best burn on that, but the rest burned real well," he said. He expressed satisfaction, stating, "We wanted to get that taken care of before we hit the dry months where we wouldn't be able to burn at all and then we would have to shut down that slash pile." Above, veteran firefighter Tom Lubas soaks residual hotspots at day's end.

A couple of years ago, Pine Haven's volunteer fire department consisted of only nine active firefighters, inciting a rigorous campaign to enlist more volunteers. The response brought the number of active members to 21 and assistant fire chief Don Lancaster is pleased with the bonus of more training for the participants.

Tom Lubus, who had been a career firefighter with CalFire in California before moving east, was one of those who joined the Pine Haven Volunteer Fire Department in the recent recruitment.

"He's got a tremendous amount of wildland/urban experience," according to Lancaster. "...

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