We began looking for a fire at 7:30 am Friday morning after receiving calls from residents smelling smoke and seeing ash on their cars. An air search assist from the Washington State Patrol helped to determine the source as coming from a 400-acre timber property near Wright Bliss Road and 150th Avenue.
Mutual aid is critical with fires of this size, we couldn’t fight a fire like this without it, and multiple calls today stretched our emergency resources dangerously thin.
We received four calls for emergency medical service throughout the day unrelated to the fire. The protocol is to send an ambulance with two emergency personnel, which leaves the fire district with two less fire fighters battling the blaze on site.
Under normal conditions we struggle to provide an adequate emergency response because we simply don’t have enough personnel, if we didn’t have mutual aid on the scene, we might have had to decide which emergency to handle – fight the fire or respond to a medical call. It’s a terrible thing to think about.
UPDATE: As of 9:00 pm tonight, 40 fire fighters from seven jurisdictions have responded, including KPFD, four other Pierce County fire districts, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and crews from Mason and Kitsap counties.
Fire fighters have contained the blaze at this time, but it is expected to burn for a few days. No structures are at risk from the fire, and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is unknown at this point.