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Wiser Lake wildfire still smoking Thursday, but DNR says that is a good sign

Wildfire Training Academy readies DNR for expected busy season

Crews work building practice fire lines during the Monday morning training session for the Dept. of Natural Resources' western Washington interagency fire training academy on Joint Base Lewis McChord property near the town of Rainier..
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Crews work building practice fire lines during the Monday morning training session for the Dept. of Natural Resources' western Washington interagency fire training academy on Joint Base Lewis McChord property near the town of Rainier..

Though residents in the area could see more smoke on Thursday, Aug. 15, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources reports that it is getting close to containing the Wiser Lake fire that began burning south of Lynden Wednesday afternoon.

DNR spokesperson Janet Pearce told The Bellingham Herald on Thursday that the fire was 70 percent contained as of Wednesday night.

“We’re hoping to dig in and build a better line today,” Pearce said.

So far, Pearce said the fire has consumed approximately 4.5 acres of grass. Though there are farms in the area, Pearce said she did not have any reports of crops being damaged by flames.

As previously reported by The Herald, the fire appeared to be burning approximately a half-mile north of Pole Road between the Guide Meridian and Hannegan Road.

Pearce said a DNR helicopter was used Wednesday and a neighbor has loaned the DNR an agricultural sprinkler to wet the area and limit chances the fire spreads.

Area residents will likely see more smoke from the fire Thursday, but Pearce said that is a good sign that crews are getting the upper hand.

“What you do when you mop up is you strengthen the line,” Pearce told The Herald. “You’ll have these little patches of grass that will burn inside the line. People will likely see more smoke, but that is normal.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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