Threat of wildland fires ‘extreme’

11:21 am August 11th, 2014

Wildland fires last week brought a cautionary note from South Pierce Fire and Rescue officials.
Firefighters from the district helped the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) control three fires last Friday. The biggest one involved 1,000 acres on Joint Base Lewis-McChord land west of Roy.
A 30-acre blaze occurred at 288th and 56th Street South, and a small fire (half-acre) was reported in the Horn Creek area.
“The message is that we have extreme fire conditions in our area until we receive some significant moisture,” said South Pierce fire chief Bob Vellias. “We have issues in our own back yard, not just eastern Washington.”
The public should curtail any type of burning, “up to up to and including an open barbecue,” he said.
In July, DNR placed a burn ban on DNR-protected land statewide.  The order, which doesn’t apply to land that’s under federal control, is scheduled to continue through Sept 30.
By mid-July, at least 265 fires had been reported on DNR land. The majority were caused by people. 
DNR protects about 13 million acres throughout the state with more than 1,000 trained, state-employed firefighters ready to be deployed where needed.

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