Crime

Wildfires on Lookout, Sumas mountains nearly out

Firefighter Fred Wefer provided this photo of damage at the top of Lookout Mountain, looking toward Lake Padden, on Saturday, May 7.
Firefighter Fred Wefer provided this photo of damage at the top of Lookout Mountain, looking toward Lake Padden, on Saturday, May 7. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

State Department of Natural Resources crews are snuffing out the last spots of two wildfires that burned in Whatcom County mountains over the weekend.

A wildfire on Lookout Mountain first reported just after noon Friday, May 6, burned nine acres north of Lake Samish. By Monday morning DNR crews had the blaze about 70 percent contained with lines dug around most of the fire to keep it from spreading, said Janet Pearce, a DNR spokeswoman.

Another fire on Sumas Mountain first reported just after 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, had burned about 20 acres several miles north of Deming. Crews had that fire contained on Monday morning and were working to find and put out remaining hotspots, Pearce said.

The causes of both fires are under investigation, Pearce said, but logging slash from timber clearing helped fuel the blaze on Lookout Mountain.

Though wildfire season doesn’t typically begin in earnest until mid-summer, Pearce said the area is drying up quickly this year.

“As you can tell, lawns are starting to dry out as you mow,” she said. “Snow is also melting quicker than expected, but we had a big snow pack, so hopefully that will delay any huge fires.”

Though the fires are mostly contained, residents near the burned areas may continue to see some smoke as crews work to put out remaining hotspots, Pearce said.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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