Through aggressive prevention activities, increased public awareness, and better building codes the actual number of structure fires has decreased nationwide over the last few decades. Unfortunately, when fires do occur, they tend to grow faster (due to the prevalence of petrochemical based furniture materials), burn hotter, and cause structural collapse sooner (due to modern building construction techniques). This creates a situation where firefighters today have less on the job experience while at the same time they are facing increasingly more dangerous fires when they do burn.
To provide a high level of service and to ensure the safety of our personnel, we are constantly training our personnel in the most effective techniques and procedures available. Part of this training takes place in the classroom and part takes place on the drill ground in hands-on training. Any training that we can offer that is similar to real life circumstances is of great value to our personnel and ultimately the emergency services we provide. Occasionally we are able to provide hands-on firefighting training by controlled live fire burns. New firefighters, fire cadets, experienced firefighters and fire officers benefit greatly by participating in live fire training. They learn to understand fire and its characteristics, to prevent deadly situations from occurring, and to fight fire with confidence and effectiveness. These fires are possible when a citizen donates a structure to the district for such training purposes. Usually, these structures are being demolished for safety reasons or to make way for new construction.
Property owners who donate a structure to the fire district for live fire training receive numerous benefits. Since the District charges no fee for this service, the owner saves a substantial amount in demolition and dump fees. The owner might also qualify for a tax deduction (consult your tax professional) by donating the structure for this purpose. Finally, the owner receives the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped their community by providing a valuable training tool to their fire department.
If you have a structure that would like to donate for this purpose, call MBLFD at 360-866-1000 and they will provide a free inspection of the property and assist you throughout the process. For structures that are within the city of Olympia or Tumwater , a demolition permit will need to be completed. All structures within Thurston County require a permit from the Olympic Clean Air Agency.