DNR looking into origin of large Grand Mound fire

Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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Arial view of Kuper Court. / Courtesy photo by Chief Robert Scott

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The cause of the fire that swept through more than 30 acres of tall grass and at least one grove of trees in Grand Mound is being investigated by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Firefighters called at 3:56 p.m. yesterday to the area of 201st Avenue Southwest and Kuper Court managed to stop the fast-moving flames just behind a row of numerous houses, but a garage and two outbuildings were lost, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Residents on Dakota Court were asked to evacuate, Fire Chief Robert Scott said.

WTRFA was joined by eight neighboring fire departments and DNR with approximately 100 firefighters battling the blaze. One DNR firefighter suffered a minor hand laceration.

Scott said today it appeared to be human caused, but said DNR is responsible for the investigation and he didn’t have any details.

Photos taken by the chief show charred wood fencing and curled vinyl siding on the backs of some houses.

It was just two days earlier the same fire department tackled a three-acre brush fire a couple of miles to the northwest, where a pump house burned but they managed to save a dozen homes.

The first wave of firefighters were relieved about 9 p.m. and personnel with DNR stayed overnight, he said. They are continuing mop up today.

Scott said the department stands prepared in case anything else breaks out during the next few hot days, but residents would be well served to help themselves, ahead of time.

He advises people to create defensible space around their homes, clearing away anything combustible from near their houses.

“You don’t think about it much, this side of the state,” he said.

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