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DNR: Crews fighting fires in Thurston, Mason counties

Fire crews Monday were busy again as they continued to fight fires in Thurston and Mason counties.

Crews were making headway on the Tenino complex of fires while a 40-acre fire in the Rochester area was 10 percent contained, said Janet Pearce, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Natural Resources.

But a fire near Haven Lake in north Mason County had grown to 100 acres from 50 on Monday, she said.

The fire near Haven Lake is receiving air and ground support, Pearce said. A second Mason County fire known as Mill 5 no longer is threatening a Simpson mill in the Shelton area. The 21-acre fire has a fire line around 60 percent of it, she said.

A wildfire also sparked along U.S. Highway 101 on Monday, which led Mason County PUD No. 3 to temporarily cut power to the area, affecting 100 customers.

DNR also issued a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands, including recreational fires in campgrounds, due to the hot and dry conditions.

Meanwhile, the Tenino complex of fires are in the areas of Crane Street and Johnson Creek in Thurston County and Kinsman Court in the Roy area, DNR spokesman Joe Shramek said.

“It’s much better today than yesterday,” he said, adding that they faced a shortage of resources on Sunday due to the time of day and because fire districts were responding to a number of fires. More than 100 people were fighting the three fires, including local fire districts, support from other DNR regions, inmate crews and private contractors, Shramek said.

All three South Sound fires are under investigation, although they are thought to have been human-caused. Lightning has been ruled out, he said.

The Crane Street fire, the largest of the three in the complex, began Sunday on former forestland. One structure, thought to be a shed, burned, as did an unspecified number of vehicles, he said. The fire is about 13 acres and it has a rough fire line around its perimeter, but the fire is not secure yet, he said.

The Johnson Creek fire, which is within five to 10 miles of the Crane Street fire, started last night and measures about five acres, he said.

The Kinsman Court fire, which started about 4 a.m. Monday after several brush piles caught fire, measures about an acre.

No structures were damaged and there were no injuries to report on Monday, Pearce said.

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