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State vaccine requirement could mean fewer wildland firefighters on North Central Washington blazes

Skyline Drive fire threatens homes; 100 firefighters on scene (copy)

A Forest Service firefighter based in the Entiat Ranger District throws sagebrush clear of a fire line as a wildfire in July 2014 threatened homes on Skyline Drive in Wenatchee.

LEAVENWORTH — State COVID-19 vaccine requirements could drastically reduce the number of volunteer firefighters able to respond to large fires, two local fire chiefs say.

Chiefs Phil Mosher and Kelly O’Brien, heads of the fire districts in Monitor and Leavenworth respectively, say vaccine requirements may lead to two-thirds fewer firefighters available for mobilization.

Kelly O'Brien.jpg

Kelly O’Brien

Chelan County Fire District 3

Phil Mosher.jpg

Phil Mosher

Chelan County Fire District 6

Pete O’Cain: (509) 664-7152 or

on Twitter@peterocain


Pete O’Cain is a graduate of Central Washington University, served in the Marines Corps and covers public safety in Chelan and Douglas counties. He also leads The Wenatchee World’s wildfire coverage.

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