The Seasons

Five Fire-Free Reasons to Buy at Fishhawk Lake!

September 25th, 2020


In light of the recent fires in many areas of Oregon, it is even more important to some to find a safe haven that wasn’t affected by the fires and a healthy place to find retreat from it.

Whether you are looking for full time or a vacation place to have as a sanctuary, here are five good reasons to put Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community on your radar:.

  • Firewise Accredited Communitywhat it is: Firewise USA® is a voluntary program that provides a framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community.

We have been part of this program for several years. What that means is that we all work together to rid our community of any hazards that could cause potential fires, like invasive weeds that are easily inflammable, removing dangerous limbs, etc. that hang over our homes/properties that could cause a fire to spread, cleaning our roofs and gutters just to name a few tasks that save our lake community from potential dangers. Our local Firewise Coordinator, Kathy Cardona,

also teaches firepit training to members of our lake community before they can use their firepits. If building a new firepit, the location has to be approved by her as well and any new member must go through the training before lighting a fire!


  • Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District (MBRFPD) located just five miles away, we work in supporting them and following the guidelines they set forth during the driest seasons of the year by placing No Fires Today! signs around the community as well as volunteering in both fire and EMS to create a symbiotic and healthy community that stays fire free. MBRFPD has placed more fire hydrants in our Fishhawk Lake community than are even necessary and we have a firetruck located in the small fire station right inside the community both as a result of our ongoing mutually supportive and longstanding relationship.
  • Volunteerisma very important piece to the puzzle of staying educated about how to keep our Fishhawk Lake community thriving, by being or becoming a volunteer for our local rural fire, rescue, and EMS, which not only helps keep insurance costs down, but is monumentally rewarding in giving back to our rural community at large! Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District is always open to seeking out and welcoming new volunteers!! (Resident Volunteer Application link)
  • Emergency Preparedness-Purpose: The Emergency Preparedness Committee shall help the community prepare for and respond effectively to emergency situations that may arise in our community [Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community]. Working in conjunction with MBRFPD, we have plans in place for several potential disasters. There are many parts to this that are coming to fruition with this newer program. Here are a few:
  1. a) Organize, train and manage an Incident Management Team and First Responder network throughout the community to respond to emergency incidents in the community.
  2. b) Conduct formal and informal educational programs in the community that encourage residents to acquire continuing education in first aid, CPR, pet safety, and other emergency preparedness topics.

c)Participate in emergency preparedness plans of Clatsop and Columbia Counties and the State of Oregon and other local communities.

  • In the coastal range and on a lake!-With what just occurred in our beautiful state of Oregon because of devastating fires, I was deeply grateful every single day for the fact that we were untouched by forest fires in our Fishhawk Lake community. Wafting smoke came our way, but otherwise, many found this to be a much cleaner, fresher airspace and safer an area to be staying/living in than several towns in Oregon, both rural and urban. We have counted ourselves lucky to have a moister atmosphere and were heralded with rain sooner than some of the other areas around our state.

View of our gorgeous lake and surrounding area! Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

Just five reasons why I love the Fishhawk Lake and surrounding  community and have lived here since 2003!!!


Fishhawk Lake Community Lodge Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

If this piques your interest in real estate on or near Fishhawk Lake, please give me a call: Gayle Rich-Boxman (503)755-2905, REALTOR® John L Scott Mkt Ctr or e-mail me at: 


Weather Patterns

June 13th, 2013

Gayle Rich-Boxman, Broker with Vernonia Realty (503)755-2905

Many clients come from other states and ask about the weather patterns here because they are looking for milder temperatures, less heat or more seasons when exploring places to buy a 2nd home or retire. I recently had a client in AZ who is specifically looking to be able to enjoy the outside and not be stuck in air-conditioning 24/7!  He also asked about global warming as that’s a concern of his, too. I haven’t seen that occurring here at Fishhawk Lake in the 7-8 years we’ve been here. We also don’t experience the drastic humidity of the south.

There are four seasons at Fishhawk Lake.  I’ve seen everything from 90+ degree summers to four feet or more of snow and that was all in the year of ’09! Because we’re located in the coastal range, our temperatures can vary 6-12 degrees from the climate in Portland and around that city. We are at 600 feet elevation and tucked in amongst some trees, mountainous area, so we can have 50 degree mornings (perfect for a run or a hike) and then enjoy 90 degrees in the afternoon which warrants a good long swim in the lake.


The winter of ’09 was the most amount of snow on record in Northwest Oregon. I measured 4′ on our deck. I took our ATV out and got many photos around the lake to capture the beauty. We have snow removal as one of the many amenities we appreciate in our Homeowners’ Association.  We have the equipment to clear our main roads, however you need to do your own driveway. ATVs are a great way to get around in inclement weather, but are also fun for going up Greasy Spoon Rd. and hitting 3500′ elevation where you can see Astoria and barges heading for the ocean. It’s a series of old logging roads that can be hiked, driven with four-wheel drive vehicles or the efficient ATVs, but wear your helmut!


This spring was unusually wet and long, but the upside to that was the amount of greenery we have and the plethora of flowers this year. I even got to see seven blooms of calla lilies in my water feature–a first since they were planted 5 years ago.


I get asked a lot about mosquitoes!  If you’ve ever spent time at a lake, especially lakes in Michigan, you’ve experienced the unpleasantness of mosquitoes. We hardly see any at this lake and certainly not the size that can carry away a small child, like in Michigan! We do have “critters”: dragonflies, lizards, frogs, and of course waterfowl.


We’ve got Canadian Geese, ducks, bald eagle, osprey (Fishhawk), herons and other wonderful feathered friends who visit and  sometimes stay–maybe they got lost or just found paradise and didn’t want to leave!

Male Mallard Duck at Fishhawk Lake
Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman


One of the pleasures of the weather patterns we delight in is the mist on the water in the early mornings here, even in the summer. Since moving onto the lake recently, I’ve relished those early trysts outside with a cup of coffee and taking in the view before it burns off.

Fishhawk Lake mist by the spillway
Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman
Spring Mist Fishhawk Lake
Photo by:Gayle Rich-Boxman

Usually right after the 4th of July is when we kick into summer. Septembers are quite often lovely as well. We can see Indian summers at times, too. What I suggest for attire: layer-and-peel types of clothing are best!!

Fishhawk Lake Winter
Neighbors using their ATV