Discovery Bay: Small Protection Island fire threatens wildlife sanctuary

DISCOVERY BAY — A three-acre wildfire on Protection Island caused more than one local biologist to panic Thursday.

The island is used by nearly three-fourths of the nesting seabirds of Puget Sound, according to Menzies Project naturalist Chrissy McLean.

Had dry conditions prevailed over wildland firefighters, the result could have been devastating to the area sea bird population, said Lou Schwartz, captain of the Port Townsend-based Menzies Project ship, Mary Beth.

A half-dozen National Park Service firefighters were called in to fight the blaze on a sand spit on the west end of the 364-acre island.

It was all but extinguished by Thursday night.

Protection Island sits at the head of Discovery Bay off Cape George.

Reported night before

The fire was first reported around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, said Donna Gallup, administrative support assistant at the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Complex in Port Angeles.

The fire was contained to brush and driftwood in the 48-acre Zella M. Schultz Seabird Sanctuary.

At midafternoon Thursday, small flames were still visible in the brush and white smoke plumes rose as firefighters used water pumped from Discovery Bay to fight the blaze.

No cause of the fire has been determined, Gallup said.

More in News

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

The Rev. ClayOla Gitane, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, places signs and teddy bears in memory of the 21 victims of Tuesday's mass shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Church hosts candlelight service for Texas school shooting victims

Prayer vigil tonight will include an interfaith service

NWI: Purchase protects Discovery Creek headwaters

Ninety-one acres bought from Rayonier

Dr. Gib Morrow, Dr. Allison Berry and OESD Superintendent Greg Lynch.
Public health officers honored for COVID-19 work

Greg Lynch, superintendent at the Olympic Educational Service District 114,… Continue reading

Charges to be urged after report of toy guns at schools

Students allegedly pose on campuses over weekend

Memorial Day edition available online only

Memorial Day is a federal holiday and the U.S. Postal Service does… Continue reading

Memorial Day ceremonies set Monday

Flags to be placed on veterans’ graves on Saturday

Six-car collision sends two to hospital, closes road

A six-vehicle chain reaction wreck on state Highway 104 on… Continue reading

Piper Pettit, project manager for the state Department of Transportation, speaks to the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday about upcoming fish passage projects that will significantly impact traffic in the city. (Ken Park/Peninsula Daily News)
Culvert plan in Port Angeles told

Construction expected summer 2023 at earliest

Most Read