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For more information on air quality, smoke and fire maps, click here

Please sign up for Kootenai Alert! to receive emergency and other important notifications using the link below:


Alert! Kootenai is the emergency alert system that enables the County to provide the public with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as winter storms, flooding, major forest fires, unexpected road closures, evacuations of building or neighborhoods and more.


The Northern Lakes Fire District was established with the consolidation of two neighboring fire districts in 2000. We are not a department of any city or county government and are governed by a five-member Board of Fire Commissioners elected by the public to four-year terms.

Today, the District serves five communities with more than 45,000 residents. We  are an all-hazards organization that provides structural and wildland fire protection, advanced life support emergency medical services, fire prevention, and public education services, to those we serve.

In 2023, District crews responded to more than 6,000 emergency calls; an almost 70% increase from 2013. While we continue to seek resourceful and innovative means to provide the best level of service to our citizens and guests, additional staffing remains a crucial need. Please rest assured that our administration will continue working hard to identify options for funding the much needed additional firefighters.

In the meantime, our dedicated firefighters will respond to emergencies in their highly proficient and professional manner, as always.

Thank you to all the citizens for their continued support as we again move forward in our crucial mission to increase staffing for emergency response. I encourage anyone with questions, comments, or concerns to please contact me.

I just ask that when you see your fire crews out in the community, please take a moment to thank them and let them know they are appreciated and valued. 

Chief Bugles_edited.png

Pat Riley, Fire Chief

Phone: (208) 772-5711



Provides an all-hazards response and community risk reduction to the greater Hayden, Rathdrum, and Twin Lakes areas in Kootenai County. Northern Lakes Fire staffs three fire engines and two advanced life support (ALS) ambulances with career staff that respond to more than 6,000 emergency calls annually out of three staffed stations 24/7/365 located in the cities of Hayden and Rathdrum. We are a career department, comprised of fifty-two firefighters, four Chief Officers, a Deputy Fire Marshal, a Fleet Mechanic, and three administrative support staff. In addition, all of our firefighters are certified EMTs, including twenty-six paramedics.


Our staff respond to structure and wildland fires, emergency medical calls with paramedic staffed ambulances, motor vehicle crashes with heavy extrication capabilities, hazardous material response, technical rescue, weather events, ice rescues, and operate two fire & rescue boats.


Our District is comprised of approximately 108 square miles of lakes, mountains, prairies and growing cities with a population of more than 45,000 residents living in a Wildland Urban Interface identified by the Federal Registry as high risk for wildfire.

Please enjoy our website for your informational needs!

Burning of yard waste, small slash piles (not exceeding 5 ft. high x 5 ft. wide)  and burn barrels is currently open with a burn permit.

Burn permits through the Idaho Dept. of Lands (IDL) are REQUIRED from

May 10th through October 20th

The no-cost permits are good for 10 days

and are available at

Please keep a copy of the District Burning Rules on hand when burning.


The District does continuous testing for entry-level Firefighter/Paramedics

and Firefighter/EMTs through

National Testing Network (NTN)

Please visit our Employment Tab

for more information on this 

continuous entry level testing and  eligibility pool process


In 2022, the District entered into agreements with Kootenai County, the city of Hayden, and the city of Rathdrum, to collect development fire impact fees on new growth in our District.

These development impact fees were calculated based on the District's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) adopted in May 2022


In September 2022, the Northern Lakes Fire District was awarded a $4.5 million SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant that will fund twelve additional firefighters for three years. This grant will allow the District to staff a third fire station in the Garwood area 24/7 sometime in 2023. Funding for the station is not included in the grant and the District will be financing the construction of the station.

For more information on the new station, staffing, and how the grant will affect response times, please read the media release below.


For information on the process for collection of fire district development impact fees, please follow the links below :

The Northern Lakes Fire District Board of Commissioners holds

regularly scheduled board meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays

of each month at 10:00 a.m. at Fire Station 1 located at

125 W. Hayden Ave., in Hayden unless otherwise noted


The Board of Fire Commissioners' next

regular meeting will be held on 

Thursday, June 27th, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

at our Fire Station #1 located at

125 W. Hayden Ave. in Hayden


Northern Lakes Fire Career Firefighters

Are Proudly Represented by the     

International Association of Firefighters Local #4045

Click on logo for more information

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