Fire Levy Lid Lift

We are asking voters to consider a fire levy lid lift on the August 1, 2023, primary election ballot.

How do we fund emergency services?

Most fire districts fund daily operations by a levy capped at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Voters approved a fire levy of $1.42 per $1,000 in 2017. Since that time, the rate has dropped to $1.21. We are asking voters to consider a $0.29 lid lift. This would change the fire levy rate from $1.21 to $1.50 per $1,000. The fire levy funds fire suppression/prevention and our emergency medical service (EMS) program.

Why is this being considered?

This is a safety issue for residents and emergency personnel. Our community has grown 26 percent in the last 10 years, which is driving higher call volumes for emergency services. We responded to 4,917 calls in 2022 – of which 73 percent were for EMS.

Our current staffing levels do not provide the number of firefighters needed to effectively meet state mandates and industry best practices for the safety of  both our community and its firefighters.

State code requires four firefighters on scene to carry out interior structural fire operations. Currently, the district’s two-person engine companies require another engine company on scene before interior fire operations or rescues can occur.

If there is a known rescue situation where immediate action could prevent the loss of life or serious injury, firefighters can take such rescue action if there are at least three firefighters present and equipped to provide emergency assistance or rescue of the team.

If approved by voters, the fire levy lid lift would allow for three-person engine companies, which is the industry best practice for fire districts the size of Fire District 3. This means that rescue operations can be initiated and interior fire operations can start with just one more firefighter arriving in a smaller vehicle, which is more cost-effective.

What are the benefits of the lid lift?

The lid lift would fund:

  • Additional personnel to increase from two- to three-person engine companies, which is the industry best practice for fire districts the size of Fire District 3.
  • Technical training in swift water, high angles, and ropes to decrease our reliance on outside agency help, which takes longer to reach people in an emergency.
  • Remodel of Station 34 in the Rawson/Elkhorn/Summer Hill area to allow for 24-hour staffing and quicker response times.
  • Replace a fire engine, ambulance, a marine rescue unit and other smaller equipment that have reached the end of their usable lives.

What will this cost?

We are considering asking voters to change the fire levy from $1.21 to $1.50 per $1,000. The $0.29 lid lift would cost an additional $145 per year or $12.08 per month for the owner of a $500,000 home.

Why did the levy rate drop?

Each year the fire district is allowed to collect a set amount of revenue. State law limits the fire district to that amount plus one percent more each year (or any other voter-approved increase). Even if property values double, the fire district can only collect one percent more. This means that the levy rate falls as property values rise to limit the fire district to the same amount collected the year before plus that one percent increase.

This is called “levy compression” and impacts the fire district’s ability to provide emergency services. This means from time to time (about every six years) we must ask voters to restore the fire levy rate to meet the emergency service level needs of our community.

Our last levy lid lift was in 2017 and we have funded all promised projects on time and on budget.

Fire Chief Scott Sorenson welcomes your questions at 360-892-2331 or

Presentation Available

Fire Chief Scott Sorenson welcomes the opportunity to provide a 15-to-30-minute virtual presentation to local groups and organizations about emergency services in the fire district and the lid lift being considered, as well as answer any questions. If you’d like to arrange for a presentation, please contact the Fire Chief at 360-892-2331 or

Media Releases

Board of Fire Commissioners passes fire levy lid lift resolution – April 25, 2023

Board of Fire Commissioners to Meet on Fire Levy Resolution – April 13, 2023

More Information

Newsletter – Spring 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Fast Facts 2023

NOTICE: Fire District 3 Seeks Volunteers for Committee to Write Statements For, Against 2023 Lid Lift

Fire District 3 is seeking volunteers to serve on “for” and “against” committees related to the August 1 2023 ballot measure that will ask voters if the lid lift should be approved.

Appointed committee member will write for or against statements for submission to the Clark County Elections Office.  The statements will appear in the August 1, 2023 Special Election Voters’ Online Guide.  For information about election regulations and the responsibility of committee members, see the Clark County Elections Department Election Guide for Jurisdictions.

Eligible Fire District 3 committee members must reside within the district boundaries. An application to apply for either committee is available HERE or at Fire District 3, Station 31 at 17718 NE 159th Street in Brush Prairie.  Applications are due by May 8, 2023 at 5:00 pm.

Information about Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the lid lift is available at