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Small Cultus Bay brush fire begins dry season

South Whidbey Fire/EMS volunteers work to contain a small brush fire on Cultus Bay Road on Tuesday. The fire began from embers from a burn pile the previous day.  - Celeste Erickson/ The Record
South Whidbey Fire/EMS volunteers work to contain a small brush fire on Cultus Bay Road on Tuesday. The fire began from embers from a burn pile the previous day.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson/ The Record

South Whidbey Fire/EMS responded to a small brush fire on Cultus Bay Road around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The fire picked up from a burn pile from the previous day and spread to about 100-feet in diameter.

Chief Rusty Palmer said the burn pile wasn’t completely extinguished and that combined with the wind renewed the small fire.

When crews arrived the fire was mostly contained by a family member of the resident, Chuck Richardson, who used his garden hose.

Richardson was visiting his daughter when he saw the smoke.

“I saw the smoke and initially thought someone was burning stuff,” he said.

His wife called 911 and he grabbed the garden hose, he said.

Crews continued what Richardson started and went around the perimeter with fire hoses to make sure the fire was fully out.

This time of the year when the weather becomes hot and dry, it is best to burn in the evening and to hose down the area until everything is completely out, said Paul Busch, South Whidbey Fire/EMS assistant chief.

In this case the fire seemed to ignite from an ember blown into the dry grassy area of the property, he said.

When winds pick up past 10 miles per hour people should wait to burn until the next day. The grass is only going to get drier, he said, despite rain the last few days.

Busch said for those burning, make sure to check weather conditions and have a garden hose available at all times.

Every summer a burn ban is implemented, but it’s not imminent as the 4th of July approaches and the weather is cool. The Sheriff’s Office makes the burn ban call. Chief Civil Deputy Wylie Farr said Friday that no burn ban discussions have been held.

 

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