Journal of the San Juan Islands


Fire officials seek info about Tuesday's wildland fires

July 25, 2013 · 10:52 AM

Chief Steve Marler directs the plan of attack in containing back-to-back fires Tuesday afternoon on the outskirts of Friday Harbor. / Ron Garner/SJI Fire Department

Fire officials are asking for help in determining the cause of back-to-back wildland fires that broke out Tuesday afternoon on the outskirts of the town of Friday Harbor.

The two fires, which together scorched about one-third acre of brush near Harbor Ridge Trailer Park on Roche Harbor Road, occurred shortly after 1 p.m., July 23, and were no more than 1,000 feet apart. The cause of the fires remains under investigation, with the illegal use of personal fireworks cited as a possible cause.

Anyone with information about either fire is ask to the Fire Marshal's office, 378-3473.

A total of 16 firefighters battled the blazes for roughly six hours before each was contained and extinguished at about 7 p.m. One fire engine, two brush trucks, two water tenders, and rescue support vehicles were dispatched to the scene. San Juan EMS provided firefighters support at the scene.

Summertime temperatures and a lack of precipitation in July prompted the fire marshal to raise the risk of fire from low to moderate two weeks ago. Currently, only recreational fires 2-feet in diameter in an approved fire pit are allowed in San Juan County.

Permits for burning of yard waste are expected to be available at the beginning of October. For more information, contact SJI Fire & Rescue, 378-5334.

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