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photo by Chehalis Fire Department
There are 39 counties in the U.S. state of Washington. Washington came from what was the western part of Washington Territory and was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. The first counties were created from unorganized territory in 1845. Eight of the counties were created by Oregon governments prior to the organization of Washington Territory, 26 were created during Washington's territorial period, and five more were created after Washington became a state (Benton, Chelan, Grant, Ferry, and Pend Oreille).

Article XI of the Washington State Constitution addresses the organization of counties. New counties must have a population of at least 2,000 and no county can be reduced to a population below 4,000 due to partitioning to create a new county. At least one early county, named Quillehuyte, was disestablished by the territorial government due to low population. To alter the area of a county, the state constitution requires a petition of the "majority of the voters" in that area. A number of county partition proposals in the 1990s interpreted this as a majority of people who voted, until a 1998 ruling by the Washington Supreme Court clarified that they would need a majority of registered voters.

photo by Raymond Fire Department

photo by Central Pierce Fire Rescue
Complete List of Washington State Fire - EMS Departments by  County
Adams Asotin Benton Chelan Clallam Clark Columbia
Cowlitz Douglas Ferry Franklin Garfield Grant Grays Harbor
Island Jefferson King Kitsap Kittitas Klickitat Lewis
Lincoln Mason Okanogan Pacific Pend Oreille Pierce San Juan
Skagit Skamania Snohomish Spokane Stevens Thurston Wahkiakum
Walla Walla Whatcom Whitman Yakima      
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