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Smoldering duff fire burns previous blaze site

KINGSTON – Firefighters responded again to the site of this summer’s duff and slash fire after a passerby alerted officials to a smoldering blaze Sept. 26. No homes were threatened, but crews applied thousands of gallons of water to the fire area and officials will work with the property owner to prevent future problems at the site.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters were called to the recently-logged area off of Parcells Road at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday after a passing bicyclist noticed smoke, investigated its source, called 911 and directed responding firefighters to the location. Arriving on the scene, crews initially found smoke coming from a stump with no active fire visible. However, it became clear that the fire was working underground when water applied to the surrounding areas produced steam. Firefighters used water tender trucks to put 10,000 gallons of water on the 5,000-square-foot hot area.

This fire was likely a rekindle from a fire in post-logging slash that NKF&R crews fought in mid-August. That blaze scorched an estimated 40,000-square-foot area and consumed a piece of heavy equipment valued at $25,000. According to officials, it’s not uncommon for fire to move through a layer of duff into root systems below the surface where there’s enough stored oxygen to keep a blaze smoldering undetected for long periods of time.  Firefighters will encourage the property owner to monitor the situation until the weather changes and fire danger declines.

It's unknown what started the August fire, though investigators ruled out accidental causes such as lightning or a controlled outdoor burn that ran amok.

Fire danger remains very high, and all outdoor burning is prohibited until the area receives significant and sustained precipitation.

 

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