Despite extremely dry conditions, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue crews managed to contain a brush fire Wednesday afternoon in a field full of what District Chief Henry Hollander termed “collectables” north of Custer.
According to Pulse Point, the initial call went out at 3:40 p.m. for 8532 Stein Road, north of Birch Bay-Lynden Road and east of Custer School Road.
“The backyard was full of collectibles, we’ll say, or debris — the owner had lots of construction materials, propane tanks, old gasoline cans and other items like that,” Hollander said.
Hollander said North Whatcom crews from Blaine, Birch Bay and Laurel were joined by crews from Sandy Point and Ferndale and managed to limit the blaze to about a half acre. More importantly, they were able to keep flames away from the house on the property, one next door and garage with some tractors in it.
Emergency scanner broadcasts said a couple of outbuildings were involved, but Hollander said they were able to save those after “flames were lapping right up against them.”
“We threw a lot of resources at it because of the extreme dryness,” Hollander said.
Because of that dryness, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources lists Whatcom County’s fire danger as “very high/extreme,” and Whatcom County’s burn ban, which was instituted July 13, remains in place.
“I think the luck has been on our side,” Hollander said of the lack of a large wildfire in Whatcom County so far this summer in spite of the conditions. “I heard there is a chance of rain tonight, and that would be great.”
According to the National Weather Service Seattle office forecast for Bellingham, there is a 20-percent chance of showers Friday evening, followed by a 70-percent chance on Saturday. Conditions will dry out Sunday and temperatures could reach back into the lower 80s by Tuesday.