Warehouse with fire engine parked inside

How a rapid-growth fire unit gained new space for its operations

The Department of Natural Resourced turned to DES to find a space to better accommodate hardworking firefighters.


While DNR’s South Puget Sound Region fire unit continued to grow with more firefighters, the space to accommodate them had not. They were compacted into a 600-square-foot office space, with no air conditioning or indoor plumbing. The crew of more than two dozen, who are tasked with fighting wildfires on state land, needed office space, showers and laundry facilities, and room for five fire vehicles. 


Wayne Skill, a senior facility planner at DNR, turned to DES Real Estate Services for a solution. Michelle Shepler, a leasing agent with DES, and Stan Zielinski, an architect with DES, worked with DNR to find a space large enough to accommodate seasonal and permanent fire personnel and their large vehicles, and to have showers and laundry available so they can clean up after long hours of hard work in the field.


Today, the fire unit is housed in a 6,725-square-foot warehouse office space that is air-conditioned and, most importantly, has indoor plumbing for showers and laundry. 

"The culmination of the project is a complete transformation of working conditions, from a 600-square foot building that lacked plumbing, to a modern facility that met all of the programs requirements," said Wayne Skill, senior facility planner at the Department of Natural Resources. The "well-trained and dedicated workforce" has a "logistical base to meet their mission requirements," he said. 

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