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A new pole barn now houses four fire rigs and related fire equipment for the Gateway Rangeland Fire Protection Association.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - From left, to right, volunteers for the Gateway Rangeland Fire Protection Association  include Jeff Watson, Dann Patrick, Peaches John Stubbe, Rosalie Stewart, Paul Cowsill, LouAnn Cowsill, Faith McMullen, Mike Hagarty, Karla Preston, Tom Preston, Steve Bracht, Myra Sue Ellis, and Chairman Steve McMullen gather at the new 'fire hall' in Gateway. 
After nearly three years of planning, designing, securing funding and finally construction, the "fire hall" in Gateway is now a reality.

The 50-by-36-foot basic pole barn houses four fire rigs and related equipment for the Gateway Rangeland Fire Protection Association. Gateway is one of 23 rangeland fire protection associations in Oregon, composed solely of volunteer landowners, ranchers, farmers and neighbors.

"After a few little hiccups in the process, we are thrilled to have this project completed," said Steve McMullen, chairman of the fire association. "The building will prolong the lives of our equipment and give our volunteers a good and central location for dispatch purposes. It is all about neighbors helping neighbors."

The "fire hall" is located on property through an easement from descendants of the late Herb Vibbert, whose family homesteaded in the Gateway area in 1898.

Funding for the structure was generously provided by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Jefferson County Emergency Management and Northwest Farm Credit Services. In-kind services were provided by Central Electric Cooperative, Oregon Department of Forestry, Gary DeJarnatt Land Surveyors, Aaron Martin of Rawhide Excavating, and Lee Baggett of Rocky Ridge.

Established in 2009, the Gateway Rural Fire Protection Association protects more than 9,300 acres of range and farmland in north Jefferson County.

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