The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

Bacon continues as Bear Creek fire chief


Connie (Elde) Bacon will continue as the chief of Bear Creek Fire Department after a recommendation by the borough mayor and a unanimous vote of support for his decision by the Bear Creek Fire Service Area board on Nov. 11.

Bacon was installed as chief in July after Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre recommended to the board that Chief Mark Beals take a 90-day leave of absence after a heated board meeting where the future of the fire chief and the structure of the fire department in general were discussed. The recommendation was made at the following meeting and the board voted to support it. The mayor ultimately makes the decision about who serves as chief of the mostly volunteer fire department.

The mayor’s decision that he took to the board on Nov. 11 was that Beals be asked to resign or retire, and that Bacon be asked to continue as chief. They voted unanimously to accept the mayor’s decisioin, board member Jena Peterson told The LOG.

Bacon has accepted the position.

“Connie’s been doing a good job and the atmosphere at the department is far more positive in the last 90 days,” Navarre told The LOG on Tuesday. “In his 30 years with the department, Mark’s done great things,” he added. “His work and dedication are definitely appreciated.”

Navarre said the borough is looking at how to structure the fire department, though a timeline isn’t set. Currently the only paid (by the borough) jobs are the three-quarter time training captain position filled by Jim Wiles who intends to retire but hasn’t said when, and a part-time administrative assistant.

Three organzations make up the Bear Creek Fire Department – Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the folks who respond to fires and emergencies, Bear Creek Fire Service Area board, a borough organization to which members are elected by the citizens of the fire service area and which advises the borough mayor and assembly, and Kenai Peninsula Borough that funds and administers the department.

In the borough, Bear Creek is the only fire service area in which the chief is a volunteer and not a paid position. Ninilchik and Moose Pass are all volunteer and not borough entities.

To contact LOG editor Annette Shacklett, email


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