Blaze raises concern of early fire season start

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A brush fire that spread and across a tenth of an acre of trees Thursday near Fargher Lake has fire officials worried that fire season may start a month early.

Clark County Fire District 10 Battalion Chief Gordon Brooks said dry weather is a reason why a debris pile spread Thursday afternoon. Because rain was below average in February, March and April, spring has been unusually dry. Brooks said he expects a busy summer for fire departments.

"This is pretty early for things to be so dry that they spread," he said.

Normally, the state bans outdoor burning beginning July 1. But if the weather continues to be dry in May and June, Brooks said fire chiefs will discuss moving that date up.

In the meantime, he advises people to be conscious about their burn piles.

"Make sure you have a clear area around any burn piles and don't leave piles unattended," he said.