South Whidbey Fire/EMS firefighters extinguish a brush fire near Humphrey Road Friday afternoon. Photo provided
                                South Whidbey Fire/EMS firefighters extinguish a brush fire near Humphrey Road Friday afternoon. Photo provided

South Whidbey Fire/EMS firefighters extinguish a brush fire near Humphrey Road Friday afternoon. Photo provided South Whidbey Fire/EMS firefighters extinguish a brush fire near Humphrey Road Friday afternoon. Photo provided

Dry weather leads to South Whidbey fires

Dry conditions contributed to two fires on South Whidbey recently.

Around 4:45 p.m. Sunday, South Whidbey Fire/EMS first responders arrived at a structure fire on Saratoga Road, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jon Beck. An attached workshop burned in the blaze, but flames didn’t extend to the residence. A firefighter was injured and treated on scene, Beck said.

A discarded cigarette on the ground outside the workshop started the fire, he said. The two occupants in the house were uninjured.

About 18 people responded with 11 vehicles; it took them about 15 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Shortly after 12 p.m. Friday, a brush fire on Humphrey Road burned about two acres of grass, Beck said. A man was working on his car and a spark from grinding metal ignited grass on the ground, even though he had put down a mat around the vehicle to try and prevent a fire.

About 16 personnel arrived to find flames on both sides of Humphrey Road. The property owner had minor injuries that were treated on scene. The blaze spread close to structures but didn’t cause any damage to anything else.

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue provided mutual aid with two vehicles and four firefighters.

Beck said extra precautions should be taken during the dry summer months. There’s currently a “type one” burn ban in effect in Island County, which prohibits outdoor burning of natural debris. Recreational fires in approved fire pits and barbecues are allowed.

Central Whidbey Fire Chief Ed Hartin said his district has responded to several vegetation fires recently.

“They have all been small but the rate of spread has been higher than typical for our area and causes significant concern,” Hartin said in an email.

Most of the incidents have been caused by “careless disposal of smoking materials” or mowers hitting an object and causing a spark, he said.

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