07/15/2017: "Orcas Quarry Fire Extinguished"
( Contributed photo)
The lime quarry fire Orcas Island Fire & Rescue responded to Friday night fire at the base of Turtleback Mountain was fully extinguished at 4:50 pm Saturday, and all responders from Orcas Fire, Lopez Fire, San Juan Fire and Department of Natural Resources have been released from the scene. The coordinated effort of all four agencies resulted in both containment and rapid extinguishment.
The fire was able to be contained to approximately one acre in size, in spite of very difficult terrain and access. Once contained, the combined effort of all agencies and responders led to the fire being extinguished in under twenty four hours.
The public should be aware, due to the type of fire fuel in the burn area, hot spots will remain at the fire scene for many days to come. Orcas Island Fire Department has developed a plan in which teams will conduct fire checks multiple times per day for the coming week; then will continue to monitor for as long as is necessary depending on findings. Given the type of fuel, it would not be uncommon for these checks to continue for weeks.
No structures were lost in the fire and no injuries were reported to any community member or fire fighting personnel. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation at this time.
Orcas Island Fire & Rescue would again like to thank the mutual aid responders: Department of Natural Resources, Lopez Fire, and San Juan Fire. We would also like to thank the Fire Auxiliary for providing nourishment to the fire crews, Greg Sawyer for use of his airplane, and Camp Orkila for use of their boat. OIFR would like to give special recognition to Captain Chad Kimple who acted as Incident Commander for the entire event. He coordinated a complicated fire scene with multiple agencies and responders leading to the very positive end result achieved today.