The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Mike Ferrians
The Times 

"Smoke gets in your eyes"


September 17, 2020

Mike Ferrians

Jeromy Phinney, Chief of Columbia County Fire District 3.

Jeromy Phinney, Chief of Columbia County Fire District 3, is a good man to have a conversation with right now. He's cool as a cucumber, with a large framed photo of John Wayne on the wall beside his desk. He has the confidence you want in a fire chief while wildfires rage around the Pacific Northwest.

"Everything's dry, and dry conditions happen every year. It's nothing new," he said. "But yeah, this summer has been tough."

Twenty-one years ago, Jeromy Phinney was a kid fresh out of college. He'd come back home to Dayton to live and work. He'd never given a day's thought to fighting fires....

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