The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released videos of the site of the deadly plane crash on Ketron Island in Pierce County. The video, seen by the public for the first time Wednesday, shows the aftermath of the stolen plane that crashed landed on the island in August.
The videos show the site completely clear of plane debris but scarred by the damage from the crash and fire that followed. Trees at the site are stripped of bark, or completely broken down.
"Every single fire we learn something," said Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz.
Franz said the night of the fire her crews learned how to deal with the FBI.
"Our guys were on the phone late into the middle of the night," said Franz. "Being able to explain to them we need to get in there to put the fire out, immediately. You have residents on the ground. We can't sit and watch because it's a crime scene."
The Horizon Air Q400 plane flown by Richard Russell crashed on the evening of Aug. 10. Russell, an employee of Horizon Air, stole the plane from Sea-Tac Airport. He flew for more than an hour before crashing.
No passengers or crew were onboard at the time.
On Aug. 12, the FBI recovered Russell’s body, along with the flight data recorder and components of the voice recorder from the cockpit. Those items were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Included in the video released Wednesday were shots of a wooden cross and photo of Russell that had been hung on a tree at the crash site.
Franz said fire crews believe Russell's family put up the memorial.
"This is an example, I think, of people saying they feel a lot of compassion and sorrow for that," said Franz.
Crews began hauling wreckage from the site over the following days as a team from the Washington Department of Natural Resources continued to check for hot spots.
Last month, Sea-Tac Airport authorized funding to hire an independent review of the airport’s response to a stolen plane incident.
LISTEN: Audio from the cockpit
The independent review will work with industry stakeholders to develop solutions to improve airport security industry-wide, according to Sea-Tac Airport.
The airport is also discussing possible protocol changes with federal agencies and airline partners. Sea-Tac expects to publish those findings in December.