West End: Wildfires 25 percent contained

SEKIU — Firefighters battling five blazes burning private timberland north and east of Lake Ozette are gaining ground.

Officials reported Thursday night that the blazes were 25 percent contained, up from 10 percent late Wednesday.

High humidity and light winds kept the fires known as the Olympic Complex from spreading Thursday, said Troy Kinghorn, Washington Incident Management Team 4 spokesman.

Embers from nearby slash and burn piles are believed to have caused the blazes, Kinghorn said.

But the official cause is still under investigation, he added.

A containment line a half-mile long was constructed by hand Thursday around a part of the largest fire — a 300-acre blaze burning about 11 miles east of Lake Ozette, he said.

Fire crews plan to extend that line to two miles.

Controlled burning to eliminate ground fuel is being used to clear the area around the fire to prevent it from spreading, he added.

“I think today we made some excellent accomplishments,” Kinghorn said.

Seven fires were initially reported Tuesday, but two were extinguished by Wednesday afternoon.

The remaining fires are burning about 400 acres of timberland owned by Portland-based Crown Pacific Partners LP.

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