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'Tough-to-reach' brush fire scorches logged area near Kingston
KINGSTON – A blaze, thought to have started at a makeshift campsite, destroyed a shack and charred as much as 3,000 square feet of recently-logged land on Wednesday evening, according to Michele Laboda, spokeswoman for North Kitsap Fire & Rescue.
NKF&R crews were called to the incident just after 6 p.m. Aug. 5. The fire was located about one-fourth of a mile from the nearest road access, off of Burkes Lane. Bainbridge Island Fire Department also responded with their brush truck, which is a smaller fire engine more capable of accessing tough-to-reach sites.
Arriving crews found active fire across several thousand square feet of duff. Thousands of feet from the nearest fire hydrant, firefighters had limited water to use, and worked with hand tools to snuff the blaze. A tanker truck was finally able to access the site, adding 3,000 gallons of water to firefighting efforts. After nearly three hours of digging into hot spots and applying nearly all of the tanker’s water, firefighters were able to clear the scene.
The exact source of the fire couldn’t be identified, but officials are confident that the blaze originated in or near the shack at the site. Firefighters note that the incident could have easily spread through the region’s parched vegetation into nearby stands of timber and homes had it been aided by winds. There was no breeze in the area last evening.
A burn ban is currently in place in Kitsap County. Under the ban, nearly all outdoor fires are prohibited due to very high fire danger. Outdoor fires are the leading cause of brush and forest fires. Although showers are forecast for this weekend, officials point out the region is so dry that it will take significant and sustained precipitation to restore moisture content to safe levels.