Illinois Valley Rural Fire Protection District proudly protects 20,000 people living in an area of 140 square miles within the beautiful Illinois Valley of southern Oregon.

The area we serve is primarily rural, with the incorporated City of Cave Junction as its hub.

The District is publicly funded and boasts a staff of 7 full time employees and approximately 40 volunteers providing fire and rescue service from 6 stations.

Administrative Staff

681 Caves Hwy
Cave Junction, OR, 97523
541-592-2225
Mon. - Thurs.: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

4webDennis HokeDSC00685 4webJeffGavlikDSC00496 4webRobinPaulsonDSC00626
— Dennis Hoke —
Fire Chief

— Jeff Gavlik —
Deputy Fire Chief
Safety/Training 
— Robin Paulson —
Division Chief
Administration
4webKamronIsmailiDSC00550 4webAlisonArnoldDSC00517
 
— Kris Sherman —
Division Chief
Maintenance
— Kamron Ismaili —
Division Chief
Operations/Prevention
— Alison Arnold —
Secretary


Ron Humphfres  Edwin Jerry-Lamb-cropped-opti
— Ron Humphfres — — Edwin "Bob" Butler —

Jerry Lamb —

 Dickson  Richard-Bouchard cropped
— Carol Dickson —  — Richard Bouchard —


Station 1 — Cave Junction 

this station currently has

SEVEN VOLUNTEERS 

681 Caves Highway

 


 

Station 2 — Selma

this station currently has

SIX VOLUNTEERS

18505 Redwood Highway

 



Station 3 — O’Brien

this station currently has

 THREE VOLUNTEERS

10 Lone Mountain Road

 


 

Station 4 — Holland

this station currently has

 TWO VOLUNTEERS  

5465 Holland Loop Road

 



Station 5 — Dryden (Selma)

 this station currently has

 ZERO VOLUNTEERS  

4240 Lakeshore Drive

 



Station 6 — Takilma

this station currently has

 ZERO VOLUNTEERS

8450 Takilma Road

 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE — BECOME AN ILLINOIS VALLEY FIREFIGHTER!
For more information about the upcoming fire academy
call 592-2225 or stop by the IVFD offices at 681 Caves Hwy., Cave Junction

click here to download an application.

 

Station 1

 

Station 2

Station 3

Station 4

Image to Come

Image to Come

 

Station 5

Station 6

Brush Trucks

logo 8961 8961

8964

logo 89668966

 logo 89678967

  8968

 

Other Vehicles

Command

Logo 89008900

Logo 89518951

Rescue Vehicle

All-Terrain Rescue Vehicle

LogoAll-Terrain Utility Vehicle

Emergency Response Unit

Van

 
The history of any organization is more than just a recitation of dates and facts. This is especially true of a fire department. If dates and facts told the story, then the history of the Illinois Valley Fire would read, "Initially formed by farmers in June, 1954, and still in existence today, just with more equipment and a few more men and women." However, the events that drove the creation of an organization and that organization's reaction to events and the passing of time are both legacy and history. The character of an organization is obvious to all of us in the present, but the events and challenges of the past are what shape that character. A fire department is shaped from within; new firefighters (rookies) are trained by the veterans of the department, not only in fire fighting technique, but also in the honorably discharging of the duties they are entrusted with. The welfare and character of the Department is an unbroken chain passed from chief to chief, beginning with the first, Fire Chief, and currently entrusted to Chief Dennis Hoke. The past and the present are inexorably linked and by examining the past, we can better appreciate the present and anticipate the future. The history of the Illinois Valley Fire is one that goes from pails to pumpers.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

The Illinois Valley was, in the early twentieth century, typical of most towns of that era. The buildings in the city's business district were mostly cheaply built frame structures, haphazardly constructed, and situated in the downtown area of Cave Junction. The existence of building code enforcement was some time off and construction was unregulated. Fire protection was not organized, but the citizens participated in an informal "bucket brigades," since a fire in one part of town could quickly spread and endanger other areas. Realizing the possibility of damage from a conflagration, the citizens assembled to provide for fire protection to the city, and surrounding communities essentially the Illinois Valley Fire was born. The community purchase the first hose reel with hose a hose reel, fire hose, and other fire fighting equipment was to be provided for the sum of $1,000.00. The fire equipment arrived and the construction of what was to be the city's first fire station in 1953. A site on Caves Hwy was chosen for the construction of the 24' x 12' building that was to house the fire fighting equipment. Now that the equipment was in place it was time to formally organize a group to use it. This task fell to the citizens to organize a volunteer company. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when the city's fire bell arrived. The bell was to be used as a signaling device to summon the volunteers to the station and alert the community in the event of a fire, soon thereafter a town hall siren was installed as the fire alert device.

THE FIRE TRUCK

Hose carts and bucket brigades were not the appropriate means of fire protection for a modern community fire department in the fifties so the Fire District rented from Coast Apparatus an early 1954 Ford gas powered pumper, the cost to rent this engine was $40.00 per month. It is unknown how long this engine was in service. In August 1956 the Department purchased a 1929 Seagraves 1000 gallon pumper. This pumper was assigned to the Cave Junction Station.

FIRE PREVENTION

The need for fire prevention was shown in the lessons taken from the great fires. Structure fire conflagrations were amplified by the lack of construction standards and fire codes and code enforcement. Fire prevention had taken a back seat to fire suppression and rescue for the early years of the department. Fire prevention was made a priority in 1956, when the department began to make a concerted effort to address the causes of fire, and the problems of code enforcement and life safety.

TRAINING

The Illinois Valley Fire from its earliest beginnings has realized the importance of training for this most hazardous job. Proper training ensures that the best interests of the citizens are being served. Even in the beginnings of the fire department, a trained fire fighter from neighboring communities was brought in to share there knowledge and expertise. The Fire Chief Abner Casleberry greatly emphasized training during his tenure. Under his guidance, the fire department completely trained most members in first aid. Additionally each of his men had certificates from the American Red Cross. 

THE PRESENT

Fire fighting is a profession more steeped in tradition than any other, and this posed a problem, for to meet the problems of the future, you must sometimes throw off the shackles of the past.  The department has modernized to more readily protect the communities of the Illinois Valley.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This history of the Illinois Valley Fire was hard to research due to lost documents, but through pictures and some newspapers articles, we were able to establish some type of history for this Great Fire Department. The list of sources of information and person involved as historian in preparing this history was Delaine Sherman who is a great source of information.

The files of old newspaper clippings were of great assistance in this project. Files from the Illinois Valley News were among those used.

IVFD proudly protects 20,000 people living in an area of 140 square miles within the beautiful Illinois Valley of Southern Oregon.

The area we serve is primarily rural, with the incorporated City of Cave Junction as its hub.

We are publicly funded and boast a staff of 7 full time employees and approximately 40 volunteers. 

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