North Whatcom Fire and Rescue seeks interim commissioner candidates


North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) is looking for an interim commissioner to replace Larry McPhail, who retired after more than 10 years as a commissioner.

The current commissioners will appoint the interim commissioner, who will serve until November 23, 2021. At that time, the position will be up for an election for a short term that will run until December 2023, which would have been the end of McPhail’s term. NWFR commissioners typically serve six-year terms.

NWFR is asking those who are interested to submit a letter of interest and statement of qualifications no later than 4 p.m. Friday, August 28, to administrative assistant Jennie Sand, at, with “Attention board of fire commissioners” in the subject line.

Candidates must be residents and registered voters of the district, which covers more than 200 square miles and includes Blaine, Birch Bay, unincorporated areas surrounding Lynden and areas northeast of Bellingham and along Lake Whatcom.

The NWFR board of commissioners work together to oversee an approximately $6 million annual budget and provide fire protection to more than 50,000 citizens.

According to NWFR’s policy, the role of the board is to “establish the policies and budget of the district; provide fiscal controls; provide a conduit to the citizens of the community; and to employ a fire chief to implement and direct the necessary functions following the strategic plans and policies of the district.”

The board of commissioners meets at 1 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the commissioner boardroom at the fire station at 9408 Odell Street in Blaine.

For more information, see the district’s website at or contact Sand at 360/318-9933.


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