McCleary firefighters slap down early-season brushfire

Firefighters, with help from neighbors, rapidly attacked and neutralized the fire.

The McCleary Fire Department responded to a brushfire north out of town on Tuesday morning after a yard burn was fanned by high winds.

“I think we were toned somewhere around 11:30 to a fire somewhere off of Elma Hicklin Road,” said McCleary Fire Chief Paul Nott in a phone interview. “A property owner was out there burning and it got away from them.”

McCleary, alongside mutual support from East Grays Harbor Fire & Rescue, responded to the fire with multiple engines. The fire, fanned by high winds, caught an adjoining field ablaze.

“The wind was the contributing factor,” Nott said. “We had some real strong southeasterlies.”

Seven firefighters from McCleary’s all-volunteer department responded to the fire, Nott said. Nott lauded his firefighters for their swift response — the fire was limited to about 2.5 acres and firefighters cleared the scene by 12:38 p.m.

“I’m really proud of the guys in our department,” Nott said. “They kicked ass.”

Nott also praised neighboring residents for piling in to assist the firefighters.

“Shout out to neighbors that lived out there. We had people out there with shovels and stuff,” Nott said. “That’s how McCleary rolls.”

The brushfire was unusually early in the season, Nott noted, occurring at a time of year when many residents are torching their yard waste.

“They’re getting earlier every year, it seems like,” Nott said.

Nott said that burn permits for waste vegetation for McCleary and Grays Harbor Fire District 12 are available from ORCAA at

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or

Tags: ,