Washing fire engines, welcoming equipment centuries-old ritual that dates back to the early 19th century.

Community members will wash a new Springdale fire engine during a "wet-down" celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, as part of an open house at the Corbett Fire District Station, 36930 E. Historic Columbia River Highway.

A "wet-down" is a fire service tradition dating to the early 19th century when members of the community would welcome a new fire engine by spraying it with water, according to a press release from the Corbett Fire District. The tradition began when horse-drawn water pumpers were used to extinguish fires.

After a blaze, firefighters would return to the station with dirty equipment and community members who lived nearby would wet down the horses, wash the pumper, and push the pumper back into the station.

The "wet-down" event and open house coincides with National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 7-13. During school days, Corbett Fire District firefighters will teach fire prevention at Corbett Grade School.

If you go

What: Corbett Fire District open house. The open house will include a chili feed, fire engine rides, a fire department demonstration of the Jaws of Life and yard games for children.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Where: Corbett Fire Station, 36930 E. Historic Columbia River.

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