Early brush fires on island spark concerns

Unseasonably warm weather has led to an unusual occurrence of brush fires on South Whidbey this past week.

Deputy Chief Wendy Moffatt said the arrival of these types of fires is definitely earlier in the year than expected, pointing to other parts of the state where they have also happened.

“We normally don’t get this type of brush fire until the end of May, June,” she said.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS responded to the first brush fire on Tuesday, which was near Cultus Bay Road. Moffatt said sparks from machinery on the roadway caused the blaze.

The second, which happened Wednesday, was near East Harbor Road, burning an estimated 1,500 square feet. Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue helped respond to the call. The fire’s cause was undetermined.

Moffatt recommends people use caution, especially when starting their campfires at night.

“Just know that it seems that the underbrush is actually a lot drier than one might think, and it doesn’t take much to start a fire,” she said.