South King Fire and Rescue is a fire district rich in its history. The Fire District covers nearly 41 square miles and protects over 150,000 citizens. The District is made up of what used to be five former fire districts.


The official anniversary of the Department is April 18, 1949. That's when King County Fire District 39, or the Lakeland Fire Department, as it was known then, was formed.

The Start of the Fire District

King County Fire Protection District Number 39 started with one fire engine stored in a barn and a handful of volunteers. It grew through the years as the District merged with its original neighbors in King County, King County Fire Protection Districts Number 22, 30, and 32. The Fire District retained its identifier as King 39, although over time the Fire District simply became known as the Federal Way Fire Department.

Annexation of Federal Way and Des Moines

In 1991, the City of Federal Way annexed into District 39 which allowed the Fire District to continue to provide service for the newly formed city as a stand-alone fire district. In 2006, the citizen of Des Moines voted to merge their Fire District Number 26 into the Federal Way Fire Department and the name South King Fire & Rescue was born.

Watch a video presentation about the history of South King Fire & Rescue.