Quilcene firefighter Tyson Svetich and Port Ludlow firefighter Jacob Shepherd patrol for hot spots on the Buckshot Fire.

Quilcene firefighter Tyson Svetich and Port Ludlow firefighter Jacob Shepherd patrol for hot spots on the Buckshot Fire.

North Olympic Peninsula firefighters mobilize for Buckshot Fire

MATTAWA — Eleven firefighters and three engines from the North Olympic Peninsula are working to help contain a blaze in Grant County near Mattawa.

The Peninsula group left Port Ludlow together at 1 a.m. Friday and joined with two brush engines from Mason County and a strike team leader from Snohomish County to report to the Buckshot Fire 2 miles southwest of Mattawa, according to Chief Ben Andrews of Clallam County Fire District 3.

Andrews serves as the regional coordinator for fire defense forces with the state fire marshal’s office.

They arrived at the command post at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, said Chief Sam Phillips of Clallam County Fire Rescue No. 2, and were on the fire line later that day.

“The firefighters are assigned to the Alpha Division on the fire where they are extinguishing hot spots and providing initial attack to new fire starts,” Phillips said Saturday.

The Buckshot Fire started at 2:58 p.m. Thursday, burning grass and brush. It grew to threaten homes — prompting evacuations — crops and infrastructure, the state said.

State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources at 8:45 p.m. Thursday at the request of Chief David Patterson of Grant County Fire District 8.

As of Saturday morning, the blaze had grown to 1,200 acres and was 50 percent contained, Andrews said.

Reporting to the blaze from Clallam and Jefferson counties are, according to Andrews:

• Brush Engine 25 from Clallam Fire-Rescue 2, with Ian Brueckner of Clallam County 2 as engine boss and Jacob Shepard of Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue and Tyson Svetich of the Quilcene Fire Department.

• Brush Engine 11 from East Jefferson Fire Rescue, with Curtis Sanders of East Jefferson Fire Rescue as engine boss; Jeff Woods and Jacob Kinney of East Jefferson Fire Rescue; and Elliot Stone of Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue.

• Brush Engine 34 from Clallam County Fire District 3 with Ivan Hueter of Fire District 3 as engine boss; Abel Alejo of the Quilcene Fire Department; and Andres Avilla and Colton McGuffey of Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue.

Andrews said the crew will likely be home in the next couple of days.

He said that 95 personnel are involved with 70 from the mobilization.

Aircraft are working the fire, he added.

Phillips said there had been no reported injuries or fatalities and no structures had been lost as of Saturday morning.

“The cause of the fire has been listed as human caused with no further details at this time,” Phillips said.

Leonard Johnson, Gray’s Harbor County Fire District 2 Fire Chief, took over command of the fire, Phillips said.

The fire had closed state Highway 24. An estimated time to open the highway had not been determined as of Saturday.

Phillips said that the report on Saturday was that wind was subsiding.

“As a result of the reduced wind, Red Flag Warnings have been dropped from the region,” Phillips said. “However, the weather is expected to become warmer and drier in the ensuing days.”

The state Department of Natural Resources has rated fire danger in Clallam and Jefferson counties as moderate.

To check on fire risk, see the state’s map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/.


Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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