Firefighters are working to contain two wildfires that broke out in Thurston and Lewis Counties. They are among 11 that started over the weekend in Washington state, covering 264 acres. Nine of those fires have been contained.
The Department of Natural Resources said the C-Line Fire has burned 60 acres in the Capitol Forest in Thurston and Grays Harbor counties, about 8 miles northwest of Littlerock. It’s on state trust lands that contain logging slash and 20-year old trees. Some Capitol State Forest recreation areas may be closed in the vicinity of the C-line and C4000 Roads.
About 80 people are working to put the fire out. Two helicopters are also being used. Firefighters hope to have it 50 percent contained by Monday night.
The Dog Mountain Fire had burned about 100 acres near the eastern side of Riffe Lake in Lewis County. It is about 50 percent contained. The fire, which started Saturday, is burning in a recently logged area. No structures are threatened. Smoke could be seen across Lewis and Cowlitz counties.
Firefighters, fire engines, bulldozers and water-dropping helicopters are being used to fight the fire. Steep terrain has made it tough to reach some areas.
The fire danger comes so early in the season that response crews are not to full strength.
“We have experienced team members ready to go, but we are still training in the newer fire guys,” said Tim Perciful with King County Fire District 44. “We are not caught off guard, but we are not to full strength either.”
May 5 – 11 is Wildfire Awareness Week. DNR is asking homeowners, business owners and civic leaders to learn their roles in preparing communities for a wildfire. DNR also advises homeowners to update their landscape design to put in firebreaks – things that don’t burn. These can include concrete, brick or gravel walkways, concrete flower box borders or planters, and water features, such as a pond. Here are some other tips.