Aberdeen Fire Department soldiers through busy, dry weekend

Persistent dry conditions are raising the risks across the county

The Aberdeen Fire Department responded to a fire near Bishop Athletic Complex on Sunday afternoon as dry weather persists across the county.

The fire began on a derelict train trestle near the trail on the bay, said Chief Dave Golding. AFD got the call at just after 1 p.m., Golding said.

“Somebody just saw a fire or black smoke in the area,” Golding said, adding crews were on hand “for a good few hours.”

The remoteness of the fire and local wildlife complicated efforts to combat the flames, Golding said.

“They had a hornet’s nest right in the area they were fighting,” Golding said. “It took a while to get equipment out there and extinguish it.”

Firefighters used a float pump drawing directly from the waterway to help extinguish the fire, Golding said. The fire caused the creosote coating of the bridge to leach into the waterway, which the fire department notified the Department of Ecology about, Golding said.

The firefighters handled the situation well, Golding said.

“They did good yesterday,” Golding said. “They earned their paycheck.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated, Golding said.

“There are no readily available ignition sources there. It is suspicious,” Golding said. “It’s under investigation.”

The weekend was a brisk one for firefighting, Golding said, as dry conditions continue to raise risks across Grays Harbor. Aberdeen saw 10 fire calls between Saturday and Sunday.

“Of those 10, five were illegal burns of sorts, whether it was people trying to burn yard waste or having a fire in general,” Golding said. “There is a burn ban on. There are no recreational fires. Within the city limits of Aberdeen, there is no burning of yard waste even if there was no burn ban on. That is part of our city regulations.”

Elsewhere, ongoing fireworks use proved a risk.

“We had a couple other grass fires. Saturday there was a 20 by 30 fire under the Chehalis River Bridge,” Golding said. “Somebody threw a firework off the bridge.”

Elsewhere, a discarded cigarette nearly started a house fire, Golding said.

“That was almost a structure fire. It was a near miss,” Golding said. “There’s still a burn ban. It’s still dry. Be careful.”

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@thedailyworld.com.