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Mount Si wildfire is three-fourths contained, human-caused | Photo Gallery

Burning material covers a rock at the base of Mount Si. - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Burning material covers a rock at the base of Mount Si.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

What fire crews from the Washington Department of Natural Resources are referring to as the "444th Fire" on Mount Si was held to 18 acres Sunday, and estimated at 75 percent containment as of Monday afternoon.

The brush fire is still burning in steep, rocky terrain at the base of 4,100-foot Mount Si, between the Si and Little Si trails.

By late afternoon on July 28, crews had managed to contain the blaze, building a tight fire trail around the brush fire to keep it from spreading.  They also set up hose lines and pumps to begin to extinguish burning material near the fire trail.

About 80 firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources as well as Eastside Fire and Rescue are engaged in suppression efforts.

The two trails remain closed.

The fire started Friday, and has been determined to have been caused by people. It's one of several active wildfires in Washington state.

DNR's fire managers ask that the public remember to practice good stewardship and be careful when recreating in wooded areas. Conditions are warm and dry, and fire danger is increasing. The blaze is a reminder to clean debris and shrubbery away from homes and structures, clean gutters and roofs, and cut limbs on trees near the ground.

Go to www.firewise.org to learn how to protect your home from wildfire.

A tree still burns at the edge of a "tightline" trench Sunday afternoon on Mount Si. The fire still burns on the right side of the trench, but isn't spreading. Fireline photos by Carol Ladwig

Fire crews drag hoses up a hazy trail below the fire.

On the edge of the "tightline" trench a huge log smolders next to a tree burning from the roots up. Both will have to be chopped up in the next week during fire cleanup efforts.

Pink "escape route" ribbons mark the path firefighters can take to safety if the Mount Si fire flares up.

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters sharpen their pickaxes before returning to work cutting trenches on the steep slopes of Mount Si.

Smoke curls up on the ridge behind DNR's Seth Barnes Sunday afternoon, July 28, on Mount Si. The fire that started Friday morning spread to 18 acres of Mount Si, but didn't damage any homes or cause any evacuations. Barnes, a DNR public information officer, said things are looking better—the fire was half contained Sunday.

"This trail wasn't here at 8 o'clock this morning," DNR spokesman Seth Barnes said on a visit to the head of the Mount Si fire Sunday afternoon. At least 80 firefighters were on-site Sunday, clearing trees in the morning, and cutting "tightline" trenches like this one to stop the fire's spread.

At the incident command post:

Above, Department of Natural Resources staff coordinate planning efforts and resources for fighting the Mount Si wildfire from a command post at a private home on 444th Avenue.

Below, incident commander Brian Looper, right, discusses plans with DNR staff at the firefighting command post.

Crews were aided by two helicopters working on the fire throughout the day Friday. Helicopters were able to cool flames at the head of the fire, slowing progress of the fire and allowing firefighters to engage and begin to construct firelines. Photos by Christy Trotto

The fire, as seen from Tanner, Friday. Christy Trotto photo

 

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