Falling tree ignites fire along East Valley Road
August 14, 2014
A fallen tree snapped power lines along East Valley Road last Wednesday evening and caused a fire.
On August 6 at 4:38 p.m. Wahkiakum Fire District 4 was dispatched to the 100 block of East Valley Road in Skamokawa for a brush fire that had gotten into the trees. Chief Jim Wilson reported that crews from the district's main station in Rosedale on Ocean Beach Highway and from the Elochoman Valley Road Station responded with two brush trucks and two water tenders.
A tree had fallen onto another tree and in turn fell across the power lines bringing them to the ground and into the brush, Wilson said. The arcing from the power lines ignited the grass and heavy brush which traveled up hill quickly in the steep terrain. Fire crews waited for the Wahkiakum Public Utility to secure the power before fire fighters could attack the blaze.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources was dispatched to coordinate command and fire fighter tactics. DNR crews and responded from Castle Rock in addition to resources from the Naselle Youth Cap and Larch Corrections Center. Wahkiakum Fire District 4 and DNR had the blaze contained by 11 p.m. Wednesday night.
Crews from District 4 and the DNR returned this morning to reinforce the fire lines and extinguish hot spots. The size of the fire is estimated at three-plus acres, Wilson said.
In addition to the energized power lines were several snags perched high in the trees above. Fallers were required to remove the trees before crews could work below them. The terrain was also exceptionally steep, Wilson said.