(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
Quick response by firefighters puts down South County fire…
A fire last Tuesday burned over 17 acres in the Springdale and Loon Lake area, but thanks to fast work by firefighters it was controlled within a couple of hours.
The fire was first reported at roughly 4 p.m. on Tuesday south of Loon Lake and maybe in the Shore Arces area but upon firefighters investigating the call, they realized the call was further south and easily visible off of Hidden Road.
“While en route, knowing it was a hard to reach location, we called for air support which would not only get water to the area quickly, they could also provide a better size up for us as well,”Stevens County Fire District 1 Fire Chief Mike Bucy said.
Fire District No. 1 had five brush trucks and four water tenders, along with 15 firefighters, a support unit and fire chief on scene.
The DNR has multiple brush units on scene and three 10-person hand crews and multiple support personnel along with a bulldozer to help.
In the air fighting the fire were two helicopters, four “Fireboss” water-dropping planes, two retardant aircraft and one control plane.
According to Bucy, the fire was mostly underbrush with some timber involved. The terrain was fairly rugged as the fire had ran a ridge line.
“The elevation was about 3,500 feet so some crews hiked up from the bottom to access the north end of the fire,” Bucy said.
Meanwhile at nearby Loon Lake, many residents saw fire fightfighting planes swoop in and pick up water at the popular Stevens County destination.
“Anytime aircraft are using recreational waters, boaters need to remain out of the way,” Bucy said. “Boaters should observe the same laws as drivers on the roads–they must give clearance and not obstruct any emergency crews. The best bet on smaller lakes is to head towards shore and stay there. Flying the aircraft is a very dangerous job and having to dodge boaters makes it a lot more dangerous than it needs to be.”
The fire was under control in a matter of hours which means the fire spread was stopped while crews continued work afterwards to mop up and tackle any hot spots.