The Colestin Rural Fire District is no longer operational. As a courtesy to our local community, this website will continue to be maintained on a limited basis and for a limited period of time; however, we are no longer liable for responding to fire calls, medical calls, or any other emergencies. We have not yet been annexed into Jackson County Fire District 5, although we will have their support during fire season, so at this time, District 5 is not primarily responsible for responses within our district. Instead, all calls should be directed to 9-1-1. The appropriate resources will be dispatched accordingly, and as they are available.

Upcoming Events:

(None - our 2023 Picnic-BBQ (see below) is our last such event, and we have no other community events scheduled.)

Archived Events:

What: CRFD's 2023 Community Picnic-BBQ

When: Sunday, September 10th, Noon – 2 pm

Where: the Hilt Church

All Hilt-Colestin district residents/owners are invited to join us for a complimentary picnic-barbeque lunch: Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, veggie burgers, chili, a variety of salads, chips, other side dishes, and dessert. A variety of ice-cold soft drinks and bottled water will be provided (no alcohol is permitted).

Our 3rd community meeting for the proposed dissolution of the fire district that will be on the November ballot will also be held during the picnic; our fire chief and Board chair will give short informational talks, followed by an opportunity for questions/answers. All those wishing to attend are welcome.

Our picnic takes place rain or shine - there is plenty of indoors as well as shaded outdoor seating. We look forward to seeing you there - please join us!

Our annual community Picnic-Barbeque:

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

at the Hilt Church from Noon to 2 PM.

All community owners and/or residents are invited and encouraged to attend this social get-together, where you can visit with your neighbors, learn about the latest happenings in your local volunteer fire district, and meet our members.

As always, the event includes a Complimentary lunch (grilled burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian options, lots of great salads and other side dishes), (non-alcoholic) ice-cold beverages, and dessert.

Fire district fundraising T-shirts (new design, white with a front pocket) and hats with our logo will be available for sale also.

We hope to see you there!


A warm thank you to everyone who attended our annual community Picnic-Barbeque on Sunday, September 22nd.

It was great to see many familiar faces, and some new ones. We encourage those of you who may be new to the district to get involved - attend a board meeting, consider joining our firefighting crew, or contact a board member to learn more.

Thanks also to our district members and residents who volunteered their time to put on the picnic (operating the grill, preparation of the food and premises, and clean-up). Team effort and good company made this year's event another successful one.

And lastly, thanks to everyone who bought a district fundraising T-shirt or hat - you can wear them proudly, while knowing that you're supporting your volunteer fire district! (We have some still available - to view images and for purchase information, go to fundraising.)

What:  CRFD Annual Community Picnic-BBQ

When:  Sunday, September 23rd, 2018, from Noon – 2 pm

Where:  the Hilt Church

All Hilt-Colestin district residents/owners are invited to join us for a complimentary picnic-barbeque lunch: grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, veggie burgers, a variety of side dishes, ice-cold beverages (soft drinks, bottled water, no alcohol), and dessert.

Our annual picnic is an opportunity to meet us and learn and hear the latest about your local volunteer fire district - as well as to meet up and chat with your neighbors, relax for a bit, and enjoy lots of great food.

A limited selection of fire district T-shirts will be available for sale. Funds go to special equipment needs that are not covered in our annual budget. (Hint: These shirts also make great gifts!)

This event takes place rain or shine - there is plenty of indoors as well as shaded outdoor seating. We look forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE: A huge thanks to everyone who attended our annual picnic this year, including many long-time fire district residents and supporters as well as some folks new to the valley. It was a pleasure to see all of the familiar faces, and great to meet and get to know our new residents. We hope that some of you will consider participating in the fire district in some capacity at some point: we are always in need of more volunteers. If you have any questions about the district, volunteering and/or firefighting, or your own fire safety, please contact one of our Board members or our Fire Chief, Steve Avgeris.

And a hearty shout-out to our volunteer fire district members who helped make the picnic happen, including those who brought food dishes and helped with set-up, clean-up and other assistance. Particular thanks go to Frankie and Jeannie Marin who manned the barbeque (as they do every year). And lastly, special thanks to our picnic organizer, Board member Cindy Warzin, for all of her work preparing and coordinating all of the necessities for this event, making it a success for everyone.

CRFD’s Annual Community PICNIC – BBQ:
DATE: Sunday, September 10th, 2017
TIME: Noon to approx. 2 pm.
PLACE: The Hilt Church

(Inside & outside - rain or shine)

Lunch is free to all residents within our district and to our CalFire partners. The menu will feature hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers, potato salad, baked beans, watermelon, and non-alcoholic cold drinks.

Fundraising T-shirts with “the hottest job on earth!” slogans will again be on sale (see images below). Some of our fire trucks will also be on display. Come meet your volunteer fire district, relax, enjoy the food, and visit with neighbors - see you there!!

UPDATE: A huge thanks to everyone who attended and made this event a success! It is only because of the involvement and support of our community that our volunteer fire district can continue to provide fire protection services to the local Colestin community. We appreciate the opportunity to meet and talk with you all, and to get your ideas, input and feedback on the direction and future of our fire district. Your participation in this district, large or small, is essential. We thank you for taking the time to join us for this once-a-year event.

A huge thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Community Picnic on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at the Hilt Church!

We had a wonderful turn-out from the community - one of the best in all-time memory! It was great to see so many familiar faces, and also to see and meet many new, and many younger, community members - a happy sign that we are an ever-evolving district with a future!

A warm thanks to all those who also purchased one of our District fundraising T-shirts . We sold out of Large, XL and larger; there are only a few Medium and Smalls left. And we sold out of hats! This was beyond our wildest expectations (or we would have ordered more shirts!).

A very warm thanks also to those who made personal money donations to the District - this is what enables us to purchase non-budgeted special needed equipment, and to afford other items or activities beyond our usual operating budget.

Dollars received from donations and proceeds made from fundraising shirts and hats is crucial for us to function as an effective fire district, and supports our essential mission in numerous ways. (See fundraising for more info.) A huge thanks to everyone who contributed in these ways.

We hope that everyone who attended, as well as those who did/could not, will stay connected with us and will decide to become involved in the District at a future point, if possible, and will, in any case, always be an active, mindful participant in our fire prevention and fire safety efforts.

Thank you all so much for your involvement and interest in every way in your volunteer fire district!

Shirts: The 2016 shirts (designed by CRFD Board member and professional artist Pam Haunschild) are khaki-colored, 100% cotton, with a pocket. The slogan on the back says “It’s No Joke: We Eat Smoke!," with "2016 Colestin Volunteer Firefighter" beneath. Everyone who buys (or bought) one of these new shirts supports our district as an "honorary firefighter." (See images on our fundraising page.)

(Active firefighters received their own complimentary T-shirt in special limited-edition navy blue with last year's "The hottest job on Earth!" design; these are/were not for sale to the public - they are just for our volunteers.) Firefighters who were unable to attend the picnic and have not yet picked up their T-shirt should contact Board members Pam Haunschild or Cindy Warzyn to get theirs.

A HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED OUR ANNUAL COMMUNITY PICNIC on Sunday, September 13th, 2015, at the Hilt Community Church - it was a good turn-out, the weather was cooperative, and it was nice to see everyone there, including some faces we hadn't seen in a while, and some folks new to the valley.

HUGE THANKS ALSO TO THOSE WHO SO GENEROUSLY GAVE US DONATIONS, and to the many people who bought our fundraising shirts and hats.

Finally, an in-house thanks to everyone who made the picnic possible: cleaning, preparation and set-up, procuring and preparation of the food, manning the barbeque grill and the fundraising shirt and hat table, and of course, clean-up.

The complimentary lunch included grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, veggie burgers, corn on the cob, baked beans, fruit salad, chips, dessert cake, and ice-cold (non-alcoholic) beverages. All Colestin District (Hilt, Colestin, Mt. Ashland Rd.) residents/owners and District guests from CalFire were invited. Our Board chair, Peggy Moore, spoke briefly about the District and introduced key District members for the benefit of newer residents. Basic health information materials were provided by Karen Dwyer.

Fundraising shirt, sweatshirts, and hats:  Designs from years past as well as this year's new design were available for sale. The supply of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats has lessened; we are nearly sold out of "Large" T-shirts, and had, by the end of the event, only two sweatshirts left, along with some XL in the new shirts shirts and a handful of earlier shirts in random sizes. Remaining shirts are still for sale; to view images and for purchase information, go to fundraising.

[This was the announcement for the picnic, which had pleasantly sunny weather and was attended by about 75 people:]

CRFD’s 2014 Annual Community PICNIC – BBQ:

DATE: Sunday, September 14th, 2014 

TIME: approx. 12 Noon to 2 pm. (Lunch starts at Noon.)

PLACE: The Hilt Church (inside & outside - rain or shine)

This is a lunch-barbeque event (lots of great food!). Beverages (non-alcoholic only) and food are complimentary to all local residents within our community and to our District friends from CalFire and other agencies.

The Marins will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs on the barbeque for us again this year; salad, corn on the cob, beans, and other favorite foods will be available, with plenty of ice-cold sodas and water, and of course, cake (chocolate and white) for desert.

FUNDRAISING T-SHIRTS will also be on sale. (For more info & shirt images, see our Fundraising page.)

We are hoping to have one of our local RN residents host a community health information table, where interested individuals can get their blood pressure checked and can pick up various other health-related information pamphlets.

Come meet your local fire district volunteers, learn more about what we do, see some of the equipment that we use to protect your homes and families, hear about district developments, meet our district’s Cal-Fire friends, and visit with your neighbors – mark your calendars now, and see you there!!

CRFD's 2013 Annual Community PICNIC - BBQ:

UPDATE:  Despite cooler weather, we had a modest turnout with about 50 people. The food fare was scrumptious, as always. This was another pleasant, relaxed and enjoyable event that we wish more of our community residents would attend in the future!

This year's Health Awareness table and hands-only CPR training conducted by CMO Karen Dwyer was excellent, with a great table display of useful materials for people to take home, and short but effective CPR trainings and kits given to a handful of people who took advantage of the opportunity. A special thanks to Karen for her time to prepare and coordinate these resources for everyone.

A great thank you to everyone who came to the picnic and participated, and to those who prepared food, did before and after clean-up, provided other resources for this event, and a special thanks also to board member/organizer Cindy Warzyn for her time and management of this annual event.

If you missed the opportunity to take the hands-only CPR training at the picnic, see our training page for further training events.


DATE: Sunday, September 22nd, 2013  

TIME: Noon to 2 pm.

PLACE: The Hilt Church (inside & outside - rain or shine)

This is a lunch-barbeque event (lots of great food!). Beverages (non-alcoholic only) and food are complimentary to all local residents within our community and to our District friends from CalFire and other agencies.

This year, we will also have a Health Awareness table coordinated by our Chief Medical Officer, Karen Dwyer, RN, with free blood pressure checks, stroke information, and a short (15-20 min.) hands-only CPR class (held inside) taught directly from an American Heart Association video, for anyone interested. View/print Karen's flyer for Hands-Only CPR Training.

FUNDRAISING T-SHIRTS will again be on sale at the picnic. (For more info & shirt images, see our Fundraising page.)

Come meet your local fire district volunteers, learn more about what we do, see some of the equipment that we use to protect your homes and families, hear about district developments, meet our district’s Cal-Fire friends, and visit with your neighbors – mark your calendars now, and see you there!!

View/print our 2013 Community Picnic-BBQ announcement flyer.

September, 2012:

A huge thank you to all who attended and/or volunteered your time for our Annual Community Picnic BBQ, on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012. (See the 2012 Event Flyer.)

While we had fewer people this year compared to most years, it was a very pleasant, informative as well as social event, enjoyed by all. Neighbors had a chance to visit for a few hours, and everyone got to hear a brief talk by several of our Board members about the District and new developments currently in the works, with an opportunity for input, questions, and responses.

A special thanks to Frank Marin and his crew for manning the hamburger & hot dog grill, Jeanne Marin for preparing the corn on the cob, and to everyone else who prepared salad and other items for the food line, got the cake and supplies from Costco, helped set up, brought the District engines and equipment for display, and cleaned and packed up afterwards. Thanks also to Karen Dwyer for providing free blood pressure checks to all of those who were interested.

A very sincere thanks to all those who purchased our fundraising t-shirts and/or gave contributions to our District for our non-budgeted special equipment fundraising needs. And finally, a big thanks to all of the CalFire crew members who attended in support of our district, and to the Oregon Dept. of Forestry members who attended and brought a fire safety display for this event.

This is how we make it happen - it takes all of us, our whole community, residents and district friends - not only for this annual event, but to keep our all-volunteer fire district going. A hearty thanks to all, and we hope to see you again next year!

September 25th, 2011:

A warm thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Fire District PICNIC BBQ on Sunday September 25th!

And many thanks to all those who helped to make the picnic and the wonderful food happen again this year.

At this year's picnic, a number of District volunteers were recognized for their services to the District. In particular, fire district veteran Cheri Avgeris was given public recognition and honored for her long years of selflessly dedicated service and commitment to the District, complementing a commemorative plaque presented to her by the Board upon her retirement this past year.

A few photos taken during this event will be posted here soon. A brief overview of Cheri's many contributions is available on our Personnel page.

This is an annual lunch-barbeque event (read "lots of great food!") held at the Hilt Community Church in Hilt. Beverages (non-alcoholic only) and food are complimentary to all local residents within our community and to our District's friends from other agencies.  It is an opportunity to meet our local volunteer fire district members, Cal-Fire, ODF, and other agency friends of the district, learn more about what we do and hear about the latest developments, and visit with your neighbors and friends! Fundraising T-Shirts are also on sale at the picnic. For MORE INFO & SHIRT IMAGES, see our fundraising page.

June, 2011:

Karen Dwyer, our Chief Medical Officer and a Co-proprietor of the local ZabaraH Bellydance Company, organized a BENEFIT for the Colestin Rural Fire District during the spring of 2011 to help raise funds for much-needed life-saving medical or other equipment that is not within our regular budget.

The BELLYDANCE BENEFIT for the Fire District was held on the evening of June 11th at the ZabaraH Dance Studio here in the Colestin valley. The event included an elegant 5-course Moroccan dinner, with entertainment provided by the ZabaraH bellydancers in between courses, and a Raffle.

Thanks to lots of community interest and support, the benefit event sold out, and was a very fun and entertaining evening while helping our local fire district! Thanks to all who purchased tickets both for the dinner and the raffle in support of this benefit!! Event details are on our Community Forum page.

Community Forum page UPDATE:  If you provide goods or services locally here in the valley and are also a resident community member, you are welcome to submit your relevant information to us for posting on our Community Forum page.   Details.

September 19th, 2010:

A great big THANK YOU to all of our local residents who attended our annual FIRE DISTRICT PICNIC on Sunday, Sept. 19th!!

The rain that drenched us over the weekend made attendance uncertain, but as it turned out, we had a very good crowd anyway, and lots of great food and fun.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped to make this another successful community event!!  And particular thanks to:

Jeanne Marin for cooking the corn-on-the-cob, and to Shop-N-Kart Market in Ashland for donating the corn (which they offered to do without even being first asked!);

Sharron Halvorson for her famously wonderful homemade salsa salad (with corn) and dip;

The CalFire crew for attending with their engines, and bringing the tasty macaroni salad;

The lady from our community who brought along a very nice potato salad (we regret not knowing her name; if someone does, please let us know!)

Frankie Marin for providing the barbeque grill and cooking burgers (along with Steve Avgeris and David Lipking);

Our board members for preparation, setting up and clean-up afterwards, and all of the kids who helped them; and our district members who brought and helped with the canopy tents;

Board member Cindy Warzyn, especially, for also co-ordinating the preparations and managing the event itself;

And to all those of you who attended, despite the unpromising weather, and for your unwavering support of and participation in your local volunteer fire district!!


FUNDRAISING T-SHIRTS were also on sale; a big Thanks to everyone who bought a shirt!!  While we sold quite a few, there are still some left. Right now, they are still available in all sizes but quantities are limited [especially Extra Large] and we can't guarantee availability, so if you want one, get them while you can - and support your local volunteer fire district when you do! The Stateline Store in Hilt has some; if you can't find the one you want there, you can call us at 488-1768 to purchase them directly. For MORE INFO & SHIRT IMAGES, see our fundraising page.

A limited number of photos taken at the picnic (by B. Bradshaw) are included here. These are re-sized for our website; those who attended who are interested in getting originals of personally relevant photos of these or others during this event may contact the webmaster. This offer is a courtesy to our district participants only.

If you attended this event and have photos you'd like to share here, please email the webmaster.

NOTE:  All photos on this website are Copyright protected by

Clicking on any thumbnail-photo or other link listed below will open that photo in a separate window (allow time to load, based on file sizes).

CalFire #1
CalFire arrives, bearing gifts (a salad) - #1
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CalFire #2
CalFire crew, greeted by CRFD & Hilt members - #2
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CalFire #3
CalFire crew chatting with Hilt & Colestin members, #3
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Food Table...
CRFD Board member Cindy Warzyn, event organizer, finalizing food table prep indoors (with Jeanne Marin, left, and Cindy's hubby Drew Pratt, on far end).
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family & friends visit inside
Family & friends enjoy a quiet moment visiting inside, before the local crowd arrives...
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Board Chair & Chiefs - closeup
In between lunch and dessert cake, CRFD Board Chair Peggy Moore (far left) introduces Board members, thanks our firefighters, and makes brief comments; Fire Chief Steve Avgeris introduces Assistant Chiefs Chuck Biegert (2nd from left) and David Lipking (right).
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Board Chair & Chiefs, #2
Everyone listens for a few minutes while Fire Chief Steve Avgeris thanks everyone for attending, and for participating in and supporting the fire district.
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Chatting outside after lunch
There was time to relax and chat with neighbors outside after lunch...
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The Barbeque Grill tent
The barbeque grill tent, where several district members diligently flipped lots of hamburgers, hotdogs, and veggie burgers for everyone.
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Asst. Chief David Lipking, flipping burgers
Assistant Fire Chief David Lipking flips a final batch of burgers at the grill tent.
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Frankie Marin & Peggy Moore
Long-time district supporter Frankie Marin and CRFD Board Chair Peggy Moore visit and enjoy a few laughs before leaving.
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The dogs had a good time too...
A good time was had by all, with, apparently, no exceptions...
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April 9th, 2010:

Our first firefighter training of the season on April 9th, 2010, was also an awards and appreciation event, most notably honoring Andy Herskind, who has just retired after 15 years of dedicated volunteer service as Assistant Fire Chief in Hilt. Andy's wife, Carole Herskind, was also recognized for her many years of service as a Board member for Hilt, from which she has recently retired.

The appointment of David Lipking as the new Assistant Chief in Hilt was announced, followed by a group recognition of CalFire crew members who have assisted our firefighter and medical trainings and other efforts; individual recognitions of our emergency medical responders who have recently completed that course, receiving either first-time certification or re-certification; and a group recognition of all of our firefighters.

Andy was presented with a plaque commemorating his long years of never-hesitating service, there were refreshments with cake, many photos were taken, and filmmaker (and firefighter) Alex Cox filmed the awards presentations throughout.

[Note: Chuck Biegert, the newly appointed Assistant Chief at the upper end of the valley for Colestin, was not able to attend this event and is not included in the event photos.]


September 20th, 2009:

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 20th, 2009, we held our Community B-B-Q gathering, celebrating 27 years in service as a Volunteer Fire District here in the valley.

By all accounts, this was a very successful event, well-attended by local residents, as well as by the Hornbrook Cal-Fire crew.

Lots of free food was available, including Sharron Halvorson's wonderful home-made salsa & chips and a vat of fresh local corn-on-the-cob prepared by Jeane Marin.

Board Chair Peggy Moore introduced our Board members and Fire Chief Steve Avgeris to everyone, and Board member Tod Davies gave an informal talk about the District, covering a bit about our history, our current status and abilities, and our goals and plans for the District's future direction. She also explained how the Hilt Volunteer Hose Company (a separate entity) and the CRFD work together, how we receive rental income from other agencies that use our trucks and water tender on fires outside of our district, and what our District's tax base provides and where that money goes, as well as what it does not cover.

Lisa Buttrey presented a Special Award for the most improved property under the ODF-sponsored Fuels Reduction Program (locally coordinated and organized by Lisa); this year's chosen award recipients are Dave and Martha Stan, who were recognized and honored with a plaque (in absentia) for all of their hard work.

Some of our vehicles were also on display, including our water tender, our medical rescue unit, and one of our fire trucks; a few of our crew members later provided equipment demonstrations to some of the more curious younger people.

This event took a lot of preparation and had assistance from many people, both within the Fire District and from local community members at large. The effort was well worth it, however, as it gave us a chance to talk to our constituents about the Fire District, and it gave our community an opportunity to see who we are and what the Fire District offers, ask questions, and give us your input.

The Board and firefighters for Colestin and Hilt thank all of you who attended, assisted, listened to our presentation, and in general, helped to make this event a great success.

And as always, we also thank you for your continued participation in fire prevention and protection, and for your support for YOUR LOCAL VOLUNTEER fire district!

FUNDRAISING T-SHIRTS were also on sale; many thanks to everyone who bought one!

Community Barbeque - June 18th, 2005

Thanks to all those of you who attended our community "Get to Know your Fire District" Barbeque on Saturday, June 18th, 2005. Despite the less-than-optimal weather (only from the point of view of what is ideal for an outdoor barbeque!), it was great to see everyone there, including some faces new to the area. About 50 people came by during the course of the day, and the food lasted just long enough. The kids had great (supervised) fun playing on the engines, and received badges for attending. We also raised some money selling district T-shirts and throw-blankets.

Many thanks also to the firefighters and other fire district staff who were on hand and helped with the fire equipment demonstrations, and to everyone who assisted with set-up & preparations, and with take-down & cleanup afterwards. And a special thanks to Art and MaryJo Trainor, who grilled hamburgers all day, to Lisa Buttrey, our Community Wildfire Protection Plan Committee Chair & Coordinator, for presenting the new Plan and conducting the followup Q & A session, and to Cheri Avgeris, who spent three days cleaning the Hilt community church building for the event.