This summer’s rash of wildfires in eastern Washington almost got the Eatonville Fire Department involved for the second year in a row.
The agency was asked in July to assist in quelling one of the fires, but while firefighters were en route from Eatonville, the blaze was contained and the crew was called back, according to fire chief Bob Hudspeth.
The Eatonville department sent personnel and equipment east of the Cascades last summer to help fight wildfires.
Among the most recent fires this summer was one burning last week in the Goat Rocks Wilderness area of Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Officials in the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District reported Thursday that the fire was started by a lightning strike and was discovered on Wednesday burning in extremely steep and rugged terrain.
Estimated to be less than 10 acres in size, the fire was initially being suppressed by water dropped from the air.
No roads or trails were closed because of the fire. Smoke was visible from Highway 12 and from the Packwood area.
Garth Smelser, deputy forest supervisor, acknowledged the “communities’ concerns” and promised that officials would “keep the public informed on this and future fires. As always, our number one priority remains the safety of our firefighters and public.”