Orofino Fire Department
Orofino Fire Department (est. 1911) provides fire prevention and
protection services within the City of Orofino and in outlying Clearwater
County, Idaho. Our force of 25–30 active
and dedicated firefighters offer up their personal time in order
to serve and safeguard their community when called upon to fight
both wildland fires and structural fires. OFD is a branch of the
City of Orofino and has mutual aid agreements with the seven smaller
fire districts within the County.
OFD also provides rescue coverage, responding to vehicle accidents
to provide extrication, assistance to ambulance crews, and traffic
control. Our service area covers 35 miles of Highway 12 along the
Clearwater River, a main trucking route, and various state, county,
and city roads in Clearwater County.
The population of the City of Orofino is nearly equally distributed
on either side of the main stem of the Clearwater River, and OFD
maintains a station on each side of the Clearwater River. Each station
is comparably equipped, facilitating a timely first response to
incidents in either location. In the event of a severe incident,
firefighters and vehicles from both stations are able to respond.
Vehicles include three fire engines, three tankers, two wildland
quick-attack engines, two rescue trucks, and two command rigs.
The City of Orofino is the county seat of Clearwater County, Idaho.
This rural community, situated along the Clearwater River at the
confluence of the main stem and the North Fork of the river, is
unique among Idaho communities. Clearwater County has a population
of about 9,000 permanent residents and no traffic lights. Fewer
than four people per square mile live here, less than the density
of the eastern seaboard at the founding of the United States. Some
of the county lies within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. 70%
of the land is owned by federal or state agencies.
Located within the Orofino Rural Fire District is the tallest
straight-axis dam in North America. At 717 feet tall and 3,287 feet
long, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operated Dworshak Dam holds
up to 3,468,000 acre-feet of water in its reservoir. The Dam currently
houses three generators, which produce up to 450,000 kilowatts of
power for the Pacific Northwest region. Orofino Fire Department
serves as the only fire protection for the Dam, and also responds
to hazardous materials and dangerous gas alarms.
Also within the fire district are two large fish hatcheries. Dworshak
National Fish Hatchery is a 45-acre federal facility and is the
largest steelhead hatchery in the world. Directly across the North
Fork of the river, the Idaho state-operated Clearwater Fish Hatchery
sits on 25 acres. OFD provides the primary fire protection service
for both of these facilities.
The presence of these large facilities, the ruggedness of our natural
terrain, and the abundance of natural resources make our area attractive
and renowned for sporting, recreation, and tourism. Over 150,000
visitors come to our area each year, and while these visitors are
here, they are under our protection.
OFD has seen significant grown since 2002, both in coverage area
and the types of structures within the service area. Rural district
boundaries have extended to include the Harmony Heights subdivision
at the north end of town, and OFD took over fire protection for
the community of Greer, located about eight miles upriver from Orofino,
when the Greer Fire Department was dissolved, increasing our service
area by approximately 25%. Also, a new 3-story, 49-room hotel was
erected in Orofino along the Clearwater River.
The City of Orofino has six gas stations and two fuel depots, two
active rail lines, two automobile dealerships, four grocery stores,
three public schools and two private schools, five hotels and motels,
a hospital with emergency room, two senior living centers, Idaho
State Prison, which houses over 500 residents, and the Idaho State
Mental Hospital. A busy State Highway 12 also intersects the city
as it winds its way along the river. So, while Orofino is far from
a metropolis, we deal with many urban-sized facilities and problems.