Update: Threat of Fire Spreading has Passed, Mop Up Phase Started Today

The fire is located primarily on Hancock property on steep terrain and does not currently threaten any nearby structures, said officials.

Update - 1:15 p.m. Oct. 9:

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources reports Tuesday that a 10-person hand crew is still on scene with two engines but mop up phase is starting today and the danger of the fire growing has largely passed.

Bryan Flint, a spokesperson with DNR said he expects the fire could be out today.

Chief Greg Smith of King County Fire District No. 44, relaying information from his crew members that assisted Monday, said responders were lucky there was no wind on Monday and that the fire started west of the power line. The clearing under the power lines acted a little like a natural fire break to slow the spread of the fire east into the hills, he said.

Smith emphasized what Enumclaw Fire Capt. Randy Fehr said Monday night that though rain is expected Friday, all outdoor fires are still banned and it will take days of good rain to produce enough moisture to reduce the threat of further wildland fires.


Update - 9 p.m.:

Firefighters have marked out a rough fire line around the 4.5-acre fire located on steep, heavily brushed terrain just outside Enumclaw and will be monitoring the fire overnight.

Enumclaw fire Capt. Randy Fehr said a helicopter that had been used this afternoon to drop water on the fire has been released but crews from Enumclaw fire, the Department of Natural Resources, Mountain View Fire and Rescue and King County Fire District No. 20 up at Skyway remain as part of a hand line team to continue work Tuesday morning.

As the fire is located in DNR jurisdiction, their crews would be keeping watch and calling for assistance if the fire jumped the line tonight, Fehr said.

Enumclaw fire initially received the report of the fire from Corliss and tried unsuccessfully to access it from their property, Fehr said. They were able to locate the fire in a hole on the Hancock land but it's location is difficult to access: it's about a half mile walk into the brush from where Battersby dead-ends by the King County transfer station, he said.

Consequently no structures are in danger and no evacuations are necessary at this time.

Patch is checking in with King County's Fire Investigation Unit for an update on a possible cause for the fire.

No Burning Whatsoever

"We definitely dodged one on this," Fehr said, pointing out that there is currently a state-wide ban on all outdoor burning due to the unusually prolonged dry conditions this year, and those conditions did exacerbate efforts to contain today's fire.

In spite of that, fire officials continue to respond to reports of illegal burns. "People need to understand that we need weeks of rain to provide the moisture content" to diminish fire situations like the one today, he said. "Because of our extended time without any measurable precipitation this year, it's made it a lot worse. In October of last year, this wasn't happening."


Original story:

Fire crews are still working to contain a three-acre wildland fire near Enumclaw Monday afternoon after it was intially reported at about 12 p.m. today, according to an Enumclaw Fire Department press release.

The fire is located just east of the district's boundaries so jurisdiction was turned over to the state Department of Natural Resources. The DNR reported at about 3 p.m. on Twitter that the wildfire was in the hills by Battersby three miles outside of Enumclaw.

A Patch reader indicated the fire was near Farman Street N by the King County transfer station.

Enumclaw firefighters were assisting. Capt. Randy Fehr of the Enumclaw Fire Department said the fire is hard to access due to heavy brush and steep terrain. No structures are threatened at this time.

And all roads remain open, according to the DNR.

At the current moment, there is 1 helicopter, 1 bulldozer, 3 fire engines, 1 water tender, and 3 brush trucks attending to the fire with more resources on the way. Mountain View Fire and Rescue (KCFD No. 44) also updated on Facebook at about 2:30 p.m. that its wildland team was requested to help with the fire.

The cause is under investigation by the Fire Investigation Dept. of the King County Sheriff’s office.

The DNR was also responding to a 10-acre fire at Park Junction near Ashford Monday afternoon as Gov. Chris Gregoire extended a burn ban Sunday due to continued dry conditions throughout the state.

Chief Smith October 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Several Fire Agencies in South East King County are sending brush trucks and crews to this fire. Crews will be there soon, watch for emergency vehicles in the area along 410.....
April Chan October 08, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Thanks for the heads up, Chief!
Kathy C October 08, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Thanks for the great - fast- reporting!
Chief Smith October 08, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Sounds like the fire is in some difficult terrain and crews will be going in “on foot”. These are very labor-intensive fires. I suspect the crews will be trying to get a fire line around the fire to contain it. Sunset is in about 2 hrs. So the crews will be working in the dark with headlamps….Crews will be establishing a line around the fire, digging to bare earth and cutting down vegetation on the fire side of the line. Typically there will be several days of “mop-up” once the fire is contained. I do not have good Intel on the size of the fire. Suspect DNR will be providing a press release later today and most likely news crews are on the way…so watch the news.
Julie October 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Update would be nice since there was still quite a bit of smoke before sunset. Nothing on DNR or local news stations.
April Chan October 09, 2012 at 04:04 AM
You got it, Julie. The fire is holding steady, now at about 4.5 acres. As Chief Smith indicated, the crews have gotten a rough fire line around it. Enumclaw Capt. Randy Fehr emphasized that all outdoor burning is currently banned though we're waiting to hear from King County on the cause and nature of the fire. No structures are threatened and there's no need for evacuation for now.
Jeanette Harris October 09, 2012 at 04:13 AM
What's the news on this?
Chief Smith October 09, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Don't have first hand knowledge, so this is not an official release. Talked to our PIO Tim. He relates that a dozer line around the fire and hand crews are establishing a line in steep hills thick with heavy black berry. This handline will meet up with the dozer line. Typically, the point is to keep the fire inside of this line. Low temps and higher humidity tonight should assist in dampening the fire down. Its dark so no airdrops of water. Very hard, dirty, hot work.....sounds like they have it under control, its very dry.
Sara Hardersen October 09, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Thank you, Patch, for your quick reporting of local issues!
Kellie Andersen October 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Thank You Patch for keeping us posted on this! Also, a BIG THANK YOU to the crews out there keeping us safe!
Trudy D'Armond October 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Outstanding reporting and updates, April. I've gotten a few people to subscribe to Patch because of this need-to-know reporting. Thank you! Trudy
April Chan October 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Thanks all! Credit also to Capt. Randy Fehr in Enumclaw and Chief Greg Smith at KCFD 44 for helping me with the information!
April Chan October 11, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Meant to comment earlier today, but fire's out as of this afternoon. Thanks Capt. Fehr for the update!


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