The state Depaartment of Natural Resources is investigating the cause of a fire near Lake Sutherlind. The blaze has been extinguished. (Clallam County Fire District No. 2)

The state Depaartment of Natural Resources is investigating the cause of a fire near Lake Sutherlind. The blaze has been extinguished. (Clallam County Fire District No. 2)

2-acre blaze contained near Lake Sutherland

Heavy smoke may remain in area for ‘significant’ period

LAKE SUTHERLAND — State firefighters Tuesday mopped up a 2-acre wildfire that burned in forest slash north of U.S. Highway 101 near Lake Sutherland on Monday.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Clallam County fire districts 2 and 4 contained the fire on Monday afternoon.

DNR was investigating the cause.

“They have released our water tender,” Clallam County Fire District 2 Chief Jake Patterson said Tuesday afternoon.

“It sounds like it’s out and extinguished.”

No injuries were reported, and no structures were lost in the fire along Joyce Access Road about a half-mile north of the highway near Granny’s Cafe, Patterson said.

The fire began in an old clearcut in downed branches and twigs.

“It’s pretty dry,” Patterson said of the ground conditions.

The fire was widely reported to Peninsula Communications dispatch at about 3 p.m. Monday. PenCom posted an advisory on social media urging people to avoid the area and to refrain from calling 9-1-1 to report smoke coming from the hills above Lake Sutherland.

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue and Clallam County Fire District 4 of Joyce each sent personnel and equipment to battle the blaze.

DNR crews dug a fire line, and a hose line was placed around the perimeter, Patterson said.

A District 2 water tender remained on site Tuesday to help mop up the fire.

Winds were a concern before the fire was contained Monday, Patterson said.

The National Weather Service reported gusts of 16 mph in Indian Valley on Monday afternoon.

“We did have some spot fires that jumped over our hose lines, and we had to chase those,” Patterson said late Monday.

Fire District 2 responded with two water tenders, one structural fire engine, two wildland fire engines, two command vehicles and 14 personnel, Patterson said.

Clallam County Fire District 4 sent one engine, two tenders, a command vehicle, an ambulance and 13 personnel, Chief Greg Waters said.

Earlier Monday, Fire District 4 crews extinguished a 20-foot by 20-foot brush fire off Joyce Access Road about 4½ miles off U.S. Highway 112 near Joyce.

Waters said that fire was likely caused by fireworks.

“It was grass that caught on fire,” Waters said Tuesday.

“We got there and put it out pretty quickly, and then the DNR crew followed up on that one.

“I don’t think they were on that one very long,” Waters added.

“The second one (near Lake Sutherland) was substantially bigger.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected]

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