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Tristan Baurick, the Kitsap Sun's outdoors and public lands reporter, writes about hiking, biking, kayaking and everything else Kitsapers do under the sun.
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Small wildfire sparked near Lake Crescent

August 5th, 2014 by tristan baurick

The U.S. Forest Service is urging people to be mindful of fires after a human-caused fire burned more than an acre near Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula.

Here’s the Forest Service press release:

An interagency team is working to contain a small, human-caused wildfire north of Crescent Lake that is burning on state and Forest Service lands. The Pyramid Fire is just over one acre in size and is about 60 percent contained.

As warm and dry conditions continue around the Olympic Peninsula and western Washington, fire managers urge forest users to be cautious with fire and be aware of possible sources of ignition. About 95 percent of wildfires on the Olympic National Forest (ONF) are human-caused, often the inadvertent result of improperly extinguished campfires and tossed cigarette butts.

“With the dry conditions we have right now,” said Rita Chandler, ONF fire staff officer, “All it takes is one spark to get things started in the cured grasses out there. In order to keep forest visitors and firefighters safe, we all need to be extra careful.”

Forest users who are found to have started a wildfire, even accidentally, may be held responsible for the costs of suppression.

The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group in Boise, Idaho, raised the national wildfire preparedness level to 4 on Sunday. Preparedness levels range from 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) and indicate the national level of wildfire activity, severity, and firefighting resource commitments. They also guide preparedness activities to ensure appropriate readiness as new situations arise. The preparedness level was elevated from 3 to 4 due to active and increasing fire activity in the Northwest, California, and Great Basin, and an August forecast predicting above normal fire activity in these same areas.

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