Submitted by Orcas Island Fire and Rescue
Orcas Island Fire personnel responded to reports of a brush fire in the 300-block of Seaview Street on Orcas Island at 6:15 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Upon arrival, crews witnessed an approximate 60-foot by 70-foot patch of smoldering grass involving one large standalone tree with active fire.
With no structures on the property and no risk of spread to adjacent properties, the fire was contained, and the tree was removed due to extensive damage. Crews will continue fire watch throughout the week.
The cause of the fire is undetermined but is believed to have started by a hot exhaust pipe after a vehicle drove through the area, unintentionally igniting dry grass along a gravel driveway. The fire then spread throughout a small area and into the tree.
As a reminder, San Juan County has extended the full burn ban. No outdoor commercial, residential, or recreational burning is allowed during this time.
San Juan County Fire Marshal, RJ Meyers stated, “While outdoor fires are to blame for many dangerous brush fires, there are other causes as well. The situation is serious, and we really need everyone’s help limiting all ignition sources. Dispose of smoking materials properly, secure trailer chains to prevent sparks, practice fire-safe target shooting where allowed, defer mowing until conditions improve, and be cautious with tall grass and hot exhaust.”