Pierce County burn ban still in effect

East Pierce Fire and Rescue put out a brush fire alongside state Route 167 near the 8th Street East interchange on Sunday afternoon.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue put out a brush fire alongside state Route 167 near the 8th Street East interchange on Sunday afternoon.

The brush fire consumed approximately half a mile of grass, brush and small trees, but “at no time were any structures in jeopardy,” said East Pierce Fire Chief Jerry Thorson. There were also no injuries reported.

Firefighters closed the northbound 8th street ramp until around 6:30 p.m., after the fire was brought under control.

Northbound state Route 167 experienced heavy backups although the highway was not blocked.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue also put out a half-acre forest fire in Tehaleh on Saturday. They were assisted by a Department of Natural Resources helicopter.

According to East Pierce Battalion Chief Rick Goetz, no homes were evacuated and no one was injured by the blaze.

The cause of both fires are still under investigation.

The fire ban issued by the Pierce County Fire Marshall July 11 is still in effect because the wind, low humidity and warm temperatures can exacerbate wildfires.

The burn ban was amended to permit recreational camp fires in established fire rings in official campgrounds on Aug. 15.

“We ask residents to use extra caution with outdoor fires as summer comes to a close,” Goetz said.

According to the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the state has spent more than $91 million fighting fires in 2014 and more than 350,000 acres have been burned.


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