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Thurston County, Washington – Series of Brush Fires Caused by Train Sparks

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Posted on July 18, 2019

Thurston County, Washington (July 16, 2019) – A series of brush fires broke out along Old Highway 9 and Highway 12 in Thurston County on Tuesday afternoon. A total of six small fires were recorded in the two-mile stretch of land. Due to the quick response of firefighters  from West Thurston and the DNR, all fires were quickly put under control. There were no reports of property damage or injuries.

According to fire officials, the brush fires were caused by a train. The involved vehicle was stopped and secured to allow crews to extend hoses under the train cars to reach one spot fire. No road closures have been announced in relation to the fire.

About Fire

Washington counts as the 5th state most prone to wildfire from 2017 wildfire risk analysis, and ranks 8th in a 2018 study by number of fires that happened. The US Fire Administration has recorded 15 home fire fatalities this year within Washington, showing the destruction fire is capable of doing. Even within city areas, one must be wary of fires that can happen near residential areas.

While this particular incident was caused by a crash, brush fires have a number of other possible causes. If your home is near an area with risk of brush fire, there are few safety reminders to keep in mind. Homeowners are urged to complete their spring cleaning, and to create a defensible space around the home by clearing trees and brush. Additionally, the limbs of trees should be cut to at least 15 feet off the ground. Any object that send out fires should be handled with absolute care. Common objects such as lit matches and cigarette butts can also easily cause a fire within dry brush. Should fire be used in an outdoor space, one must assess the surroundings to make sure fire would not have a possibility to spread out. While the fire is burning, it is imperative that it must be attended to and ensure that the blaze does not go out of control. Finally, before leaving an area where fire was used, one must ensure that any fires must be extinguished completely. Preventing brush fires from happening is everyone’s responsibility, and careful use of fire can ensure the safety of not only one’s self, but hundreds of others.