Crews were fighting two South Sound wildfires Monday, a day after Gov. Chris Gregoire extended an emergency burn ban to all counties in the state.
Outdoor burning is prohibited through midnight, Oct. 15, which Gregoire said was due to elevated fire danger from the state’s long stretch of warm dry weather. The ban includes burning such as campfires, fireworks and yard cleanup.
A blaze near Ashford that started Monday morning covered 9 acres and had been 20 percent contained by evening, according to Bruce Livingston, a spokesman for the agencies battling the blaze.
He said the fire was about three miles out of Elbe, toward Mount Rainier.
No homes appeared to be in danger, Livingston added. About 60 to 70 people were fighting the blaze, he said.
Air crews were dropping water and fire retardant on the flames. Firefighters expected to monitor the blaze overnight and return in full force early this morning, he said.
A separate fire north of Shelton was expected to be fully contained by Monday night.
That 229-acre blaze started Oct. 4 near Rainbow Lake. More than 180 firefighters from South Sound fire departments and the state Department of Natural Resources fought the fire, and about 100 were wrapping up the efforts Monday.
Residents of about two dozen homes near Rainbow Lake and along the Johns Prairie Road were asked to evacuate when the fire started but were told they could safely return shortly thereafter.
Crews shifted resources to keep flames away from the new Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 headquarters in the Johns Prairie area.
The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency reported pollution levels Monday morning in the Shelton area that are unhealthy for sensitive populations, including the elderly, infants and young children and those with heart and respiratory conditions.Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268 alexis.krell@ thenewstribune.com Staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.