Browns Point finally stops burning


Staff writer

A 20-acre brush fire on Browns Point last week filled south Federal Way with so much hazy, white wood smoke, many residents called the Federal Way Fire Department to ensure the fire wasn’t encroaching on the city.

The fire, which started Aug. 4 and burned all week, was most likely caused by inadvertent human error — a smoldering cigarette butt flicked into the arid brown grass by the side of the road, for example, Tacoma deputy fire marshal Kevin O’Donnal said.

Firefighters had no indication the fire was intentional, he said.

The fire didn’t cause any structural damage — “It was contained completely to the brush on the hillside,” he said — and no one was injured.

Tacoma Fire Department dispatched six high-powered water cannons between the fire and the houses at the top of the hill to keep the flames from reaching the homes. Firefighters from Tacoma, Browns Point and Federal Way held the flames within a 20-acre perimeter and let the fire burn from within, O’Donnal said.

Federal Way and Tacoma crews fought the fire from the bottom of the hill while more Tacoma units worked the top of the hill, Federal Way Fire Department spokeswoman Monica Colby said.

Because the hill is fairly steep and rugged, Tacoma firefighters called in a helicopter to drop water on the area until dark Aug. 4.

Just as firefighters were getting the Monday fire under control, another one sparked just north of it last Wednesday afternoon near Marine View Drive on Browns Point.

Federal Way firefighters again went last Thursday to help put out small fires and make sure hot spots didn’t rekindle.

The last of Tacoma’s fire units left the area just before 9 p.m. last Sunday. Fire crews weren’t stationed at Brown’s Point Monday. O’Donnal said they were stopping by to check on the area, but no one had seen smoke or flames.

“The rain did us some good this weekend,” he said.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

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