Washington firefighters and lawmakers help homeowners prepare for wildfires

Fire crews near Lake Bonney rushed to put out a small brush fire that started in an area haunted by a wildfire that burned hundreds of acres and destroyed several homes last year.

As the warm weather continues over the next few days, firefighters are warning the public to start thinking about forest fire threats within their communities.

In 2020, the Sumner Grade Fire burned more than 700 acres, destroyed half a dozen homes, and damaged more than a dozen more near Graham.

On Monday afternoon, drivers and neighbors called 911 to report smoke and fire rising in the brush along SR 410 just west of Bonney Lake.

Fire crews rushed to get into place, including their footing on the steep hill. They arrived to find 400 feet of burning fire. Hoses sprayed water and axes were used to dig into the ground, with crews trying to uproot any hot spots that could keep the fire alive.

This district below the highway had already known such danger. Last year, the Sumner Grade Fire burned down the earth that can still be seen in the same neighborhood.

We spoke with a man who lived it and firefighters who spoke about the danger this season.

“We just thought, ‘let’s go again,’ said owner Mike Martin.

Across the street, house after house has since been repaired after last year’s wildfire damaged several structures. The fire destroyed two houses nearby.

That’s why local firefighters plan to work with neighboring communities to prepare homeowners for forest fire threats. Local lawmakers are joining the effort that is planned for this Wednesday afternoon.

Those interested can register here.

While Monday’s fire was swept away fairly quickly, firefighters warn the danger increases with rising temperatures.

“Be careful,” said Battalion Commander Justin Doyle of East Pierce Fire & Rescue. “Watch for fires and call them as fast as you can. “

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