Crime

Grass fire burns several acres north of Bellingham, but no property damage, injuries

Firefighters extinguish large grass fire on Kline Road

North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Joe Noonchester talks about a joint effort between North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, Whatcom County Fire District 7, Lynden Fire Department and Bellingham Fire Department to extinguish a grass fire on Thu
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North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Joe Noonchester talks about a joint effort between North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, Whatcom County Fire District 7, Lynden Fire Department and Bellingham Fire Department to extinguish a grass fire on Thu

An outdoor fire spared homes and other property but left as many as 7 acres of charred grass on the northern outskirts of town Thursday.

The fire began around 1 p.m. near the 200 block of Kelly Road, just east of Guide Meridian Road, said Joe Noonchester, assistant chief with North Whatcom Fire and Rescue. The fire started small, but windy conditions helped it spread, Noonchester said, estimating the fire burned between 5 and 7 acres across five properties.

No one was injured, Noonchester said.

The first crews arrived within minutes, he said, and had the fire under control in less than an hour. North Whatcom, Whatcom County Fire District 7, and the Lynden and Bellingham fire departments all sent crews to fight the blaze.

Jim Haugo, 77, was walking across his 10-acre property at 256 Kline Road when he smelled smoke, he said.

“I thought somebody was burning garbage,” Haugo said.

About a half hour later, he said, he saw a line of flames moving south and west across the grass on his property, and he called 911. He couldn’t say how many of his acres had burned.

“I hope it rains,” Haugo said, looking out on the field of burned grass.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Noonchester said.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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