Clackamas Fire District – Proposed Emergency Services Levy

An open letter from Clackamas Fire District  Chief Nick Browne

Dear Community Member:

    I serve as your Fire Chief in one of the largest fire protection districts in Oregon. Clackamas Fire District covers 235 square miles, serves 220,000 Oregonians, and responds to nearly 30,000 annual calls. As an independent, special district, we operate separately from Clackamas County and the State of Oregon. As it stands, our permanent tax rate simply cannot keep up with the increased and diversified needs of our communities. This funding gap has led to persistent staffing challenges including the inability to maintain coverage at several rural fire stations. 

Right now, Clackamas Fire District is exploring a local option levy, intended for the May 2023 ballot. Unlike other large fire agencies in the Portland Metro area, Clackamas Fire District does not have an enhanced levy to fund firefighter positions and equipment needs. This process has not been taken lightly, and our Future Funding Taskforce has prioritized three critical areas in need of funding in relation to the proposed levy: (1) staffing, (2) alternative response, and (3) wildfire response. 

  1. Staffing: Clackamas Fire District crews are understaffed. A levy would fund 58-66 full-time positions, which would allow for four-person staffing in most fire stations. This would bring Clackamas Fire District in alignment with national standards and best practices, which call for each apparatus to be staffed with four firefighters. An enhanced levy would also enable 24/7 career staffing at Logan and Clarkes Fire Stations, two of our rural stations that are on the front line of our fight against wildfires. Providing 24/7 staffing at these stations would significantly enhance emergency response effectiveness and place firefighters and equipment closer to areas with significant wildfire risk. 
  1. Alternative Response: Right now, our heaviest resources (fire engines) respond to low acuity calls. In other words, our biggest fire engines currently respond to calls that are less urgent and do not require multiple, large rigs. This puts unnecessary stress and increases costs on the system. We want to invest in an alternative response model for these low acuity calls to better serve the community. In other words, we want to send the right rig to the right call.
  1. Wildfires: In 2020, over a 72-hour period, Clackamas Fire District responded to 144 working fires, and 24 greater alarm fires. Since 2020, wildfire risk within District boundaries has only increased.  We have carefully considered all options to best support our work on the front lines of wildfires, and believe that levy funding will significantly aid in our efforts:
  • 24/7 staffing at rural stations would significantly enhance emergency response effectiveness across a wide territory. 
  • Strategic placement of firefighters and equipment closer to areas with significant wildfire risk. 
  • Support mitigation work.

Clackamas Fire District strives to fulfill our purpose, mission, and vision. As we continue through the levy development process, we are asking the community for your input and reaction. You can provide direct feedback through this survey, linked here , or via email:


We are forever grateful for your support and the opportunity we have to better serve you.

 Thank you.


Chief Nick Browne



Community Forums on Proposed Enhanced Levy

Clackamas Fire is considering a levy to fund firefighter staffing and equipment. In January 2023, the Clackamas Fire Board of Directors is expected to consider a measure for voter referral on the May 2023 ballot. The public has an opportunity to provide feedback to Clackamas Fire on the proposed levy in November 2022 and January 2023.

Clackamas Fire District #1 is one of the largest and busiest emergency response agencies in the Portland Metro Area, serving more than 220,000 residents across 235 square miles. Clackamas Fire responds to approximately 30,000 calls each year. However, unlike other large fire agencies – including TVF&R and Marion County – Clackamas Fire does not have an enhanced levy to fund firefighter positions and equipment needs. This funding gap has led to persistent staffing challenges, including an inability to maintain coverage at several rural fire stations.

Community Forums this fall

Clackamas Fire has hosted two community forums in an effort to share information about the proposed levy and its impact on staffing, wildfires, and alternative response. There will be two more of these in-person events, Wednesday, January 4th at Station 14 in Boring, and Saturday, January 7th, at Station 15 in Oregon City. These events will include a presentation and a panel discussion where the public will have the opportunity to ask Clackamas Fire leadership questions about the proposed levy.
*The event in Boring will be in-person only, the event in Oregon City will have the option to attend online.*

You can click the following links to watch the previous two forums:
-11/16/2022, Station 7 Pleasant Valley:  
-11/9/2022, Station 10 Beavercreek: 

We Want Your Input! Take Our Survey!

Click Here To Take The Survey

Clackamas Fire Community Forum:
Topic TBD

When: Saturday January 7th, 10:00am-11:30am
Where: Station 15, 624 7th Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
Register to attend in person or online.


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