Early leader of Maple Valley’s fire services dies

Wilburn “Bill” Harshfield, one of Maple Valley’s first fire chiefs and a resident of the area for seven decades, has died.

Family members said Harshfield died Dec. 23. He was 91.

Harshfield lived in Maple Valley for more than 70 years. During that time, he helped form what was then called the Maple Valley Volunteer Fire Department, which later became Fire District 43. He served as its chief for 19 years until retiring in 1970.

His wife, Mildred, volunteered with the department as a dispatcher. She died in 2003.

The couple moved to Stanwood in 2000.

A memorial service for Harshfield is scheduled for Jan. 10 at Maple Valley Historical Fire Engine Museum Valley Historical Society.