Crime

Illegal campfire sparks 1-acre wildfire near Baker Lake

An illegal campfire sparked a one-acre wildfire this week on the east shoreline of Baker Lake, according to Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Service staff.

Firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service were battling the fire Wednesday, July 8, near the bend in the lake between the Maple Grove and Silver Creek campgrounds.

Dead trees have been falling on the shore. Boaters and hikers are asked to stay away.

The wildfire is described as “creeping, with occasional flare-ups,” said Aleta Eng, with the Forest Service’s public affairs office. Forest Service firefighters believe an abandoned campfire, in an illegal spot to build a fire, spread into the surrounding brush and trees.

No information was available Wednesday on how much of the fire had been contained.

Campfires were banned in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in late June, except in established fire pits. The national forest on the west side of the Cascades stretches from the Canadian border to Mount Rainier.

Baker Lake, a 4,800-acre reservoir southeast of Mount Baker, is reached by car through Skagit County, but the entire lake is in Whatcom County.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Dispatcher blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog and follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.

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