A brush fire started Sunday, June 30, near 650th SW Campus Drive in Federal Way after witnesses reported hearing fireworks.
According to South King Fire and Rescue PIO Brad Chaney, no witnesses saw any fireworks going off, but the department received multiple reports of fireworks being heard in the area shortly before the blaze started Sunday afternoon.
The fire scorched a signifcant portion on the BPA Trail near the King County Aquatic Center, although no pedestrians were harmed. Chaney said SKFR had to use nearly 1,000 feet of hose to reach and extinguish the blaze.
“Thanks to the hard work and aggressive attack by Engine 63 and Engine 62, they were able to prevent this fire from spreading to nearby houses,” he said.
Chaney said this fire brings concerns over some predictions that this will be a high fire hazard summer for the area. During hot summer temperatures, bushes and trees will dry out more quickly, which can lead to more fires, he said.
“We are encouraging everyone to do their part to be safe this summer. If you cook with charcoal, please make sure to dispose of them properly and that they are fully extinguished,” Chaney said. “If you have a campfire, remember to never leave it unattended and to make sure it is fully extinguished before you go to bed, or before you leave. For cigarette and cigar smokers, please do not discard your materials out your window.”
Chaney said SKFR sees several fires per year caused by cigarette and cigar butts discarded outdoors.
He also wanted to remind citizens that it is illegal to discharge fireworks within city limits.
In a note from SKFR Fire Chief Dr. Allen Church released on SKFR’s Twitter Page, Church encouraged people in South King County to keep their bushes trimmed back, to avoid storing flammable substances close to the outside of homes, and to wet down roofs and grass to help avoid fires this Fourth of July.
He also urged people to call 911 immediately if they see a fire because these types of fires “burn rapidly and unpredictably.”
A map created by Predictive Services with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, shows Northwestern Washington as having above normal potential for wildfires this summer season, as well as several other states.