Jefferson County crews extinguished a wildfire Thursday that appeared to have been sparked by an unattended campfire on a beach near Coyle, Quilcene Fire Chief Larry Karp said.
The fire burned about a tenth of an acre in a steep, forested area at the southern tip of Toandos Peninsula.
“It traveled from a beach up a hillside through tress and brush,” Karp said in a telephone interview.
“It looks like it was a campfire that wasn’t properly put out last night. There was still a cooler with beers in it sitting next to campfire.”
The campers who were believed to have started the fire had left the area before crews arrived Thursday morning.
“Nobody fessed up to it,” Karp said.
Smoke from the fire was reported as being seen from Kitsap County at about 9 a.m. Thursday.
Crews from the Quilcene Fire Department and other Jefferson County agencies extinguished the blaze at about noon.
“All fire districts in Jefferson County were involved,” Karp said.
A state Department of Natural Resources crew was called in for mop-up duty.
The campfire appeared to have spread to two small boats on the beach, which generated enough heat to ignite the nearby forest, Karp said.
Karp reminded the public to extinguish campfires by dousing them with water and stirring the ashes with a shovel.
“Make sure that it’s cold to the touch,” Karp said.
Quilcene Fire, or Jefferson County Fire District 2, responded with three tenders and three brush rigs.
Near Port Angeles
Meanwhile, Clallam County Fire District 2 firefighters knocked down a small brush fire that was believed to have been started by fireworks west of Port Angeles on Wednesday.
Crews quickly extinguished the 15- by 30-foot blaze that was burning in grass and light brush at 400 Charles Road on the Lower Elwha Klallam tribal reservation, according to a news release.
It was determined that the Charles Road fire had been started by fireworks, Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue officials said.
The fire district responded with a standard engine, fast attack wildland brush engine, command vehicle and five firefighters. Other firefighters and two 3,000-gallon water tenders were on standby for the Fourth of July, officials said.
Peninsula Communications received 61 reports of fireworks violations between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday, according to the dispatch center’s call for service log.
No major fires were reported on the North Olympic Peninsula on the Fourth of July.
“We had zero fireworks-related incidents,” said Ben Andrews, chief of Sequim-area Clallam County Fire District 3.
East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman Bill Beezley said there were no fireworks-related calls to his district Wednesday.
“We had a really, really quiet evening,” Beezley said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] suladailynews.com.