A brush fire on the 2000 block of 217th Ave. Ct. E. on Monday afternoon kept firefighters and members of the East Pierce Fire and Rescue Wildland Firefighting Team and Technical Rescue Team most of the afternoon to contain.
A homeowner called 9-1-1 at 12:30 p.m. to report smoke billowing up the steep terrain behind the residence.
The fire burned a 50x50-foot area on the hillside behind the home before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. East Pierce officials report no damage to the home and firefighters left the scene just after 3 p.m.
East Pierce Public Information Officer Dina Sutherland says that the outcome could have been much worse had the homeowner not seen the smoke and reported the fire.
“It spread so quickly. It could have been devastating,” she said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Sutherland says there have been a series of brush fires lately, in part due to the dry conditions. “It’s so dry right now, even a small spark can be catastrophic,” she says.
Dry weather has kept local firefighters busy -- just last week responders put out brush fires on the Bonney Lake/Buckley border and Elhi Hill.
Sutherland recommends that residents take precautions such as cleaning chimneys at least once a year, clearing rain gutters and, whenever possible, stacking firewood at least 100 feet away from the home.
“If composting, don’t forget to turn the compost pile often and add water periodically to keep it from overheating,” she says.
Sutherland also suggests that residents who live in wooded areas create a defensible space by removing all dry leaves, dead limbs and plants from within 30-50-foot of the house and other buildings.
“Creating a defensible space improves your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs or any wildland area that surrounds it,” said Sutherland. Defensible space helps slow or stop the spread of a wildfire and protects homes from catching fire, either from direct flame contact or radiant heat.