East Jefferson Fire Rescue Chief Bret Black told The Leader that his crews were about to change their tactics. The fire fight at Peat Plank Road …
East Jefferson Fire And Rescue Chief Bret Black told The Leader that his crews were just about to change their tactics.
The fire fight at Peat Plank Road wasn’t going as well as they’d hoped, despite aid from crews as far away as Bremerton, including Quilcene Fire Rescue, Naval Magazine Indian Island, North Kitsap Fire Rescue and Washington Department of Natural Resources.
But then the DNR Hele-Tak arrived and let loose giant buckets of water retrieved from a local pond on the brush fire.
“We have, as of now, no injuries and no significant property damage other than a few burned up sticks of forestry fire hose but that’s the cost of doing business,” Black told The Leader late Wednesday morning.
“DNR is in command now, conducting their investigation, and we’re mopping up around the containment making sure there isn’t anything smoldering that could turn back into a fire,” he said. Black explained that the fire is contained within a scratch line and a wet line.
“Last night they worked to get 20 feet into the black, burned area. Today we’re going to try to get in 100 feet — we go visibly around that line and go into the black and make sure nothing is smoldering,” he said.
The Chief said the wind was a significant factor as the county heads into the worst part of the fire season.
“The fire weather forecast is not optimal in either the immediate nor the next several months. It’s an elevated threat level until October," he said.
“This is the witching hour of fire season where the potential for a huge legacy fires gets going."
If DNR determines a cause, he said, it does so typically within a few weeks.
“It’s not unusual for us to have an undetermined cause,” Black said.
The Chief gave accolades to the afrementioned agnecies provided through the Mutual Aid System.
“Our crews worked tirelessly for the initial fire,” he said.
According to his department's press release, at about 3:30 p.m. a passerby reported a brush fire in the area of Beaver Valley Road and Peat Plank Road. Within 30 minutes the fire moved south covering an estimated three acres. Washington State Patrol has State Road 19 in the area of Beaver Valley closed at this time.