Turtleback wildland fire extinguished in less than 24 hours

Less than a day after it began, a wildland fire located at the end of Lime Quarry Road has been extinguished.

At around 9:30 p.m. on July 14, Orcas Island Fire units responded to the fire at the base of the Turtleback Mountain. The fire was fully extinguished at 4:50 p.m. on July 15 and all responders from Orcas Fire, Lopez Fire, San Juan Fire and Department of Natural Resources have been released from the scene.

The coordinated effort of all four agencies resulted in both containment and rapid extinguishment. The fire was able to be contained to approximately one acre in size, in spite of very difficult terrain and access. Once contained, the combined effort of all agencies and responders led to the fire being extinguished in under 24 hours.

The public should be aware, due to the type of fire fuel in the burn area, hot spots will remain at the fire scene for many days to come. Orcas Island Fire Department has developed a plan in which teams will conduct fire checks multiple times per day for the coming week; then will continue to monitor for as long as is necessary depending on findings. Given the type of fuel, it would not be uncommon for these checks to continue for weeks.

No structures were lost in the fire and no injuries were reported to any community member or firefighting personnel. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation at this time. Orcas Island Fire and Rescue says it would like to thank the mutual aid responders Department of Natural Resources, Lopez Fire, and San Juan Fire, Fire Auxiliary for providing nourishment to the fire crews, Greg Sawyer for use of his airplane and Camp Orkila for use of their boat. OIFR would like to give special recognition to Captain Chad Kimple who acted as Incident Commander for the entire event. He coordinated a complicated fire scene with multiple agencies and responders leading to the very positive end result achieved today.