Cooler winds helping Washington firefighters



OLYMPIA — A shift in winds Monday is helping firefighters at a couple of wildfires in southwest Washington.

Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Karen Ripley says they grew Sunday under dry easterly winds. But winds have shifted to an onshore flow, bringing cooler, more-humid air.

About 100 firefighters with helicopters are trying to control a fire that has burned about 100 acres near the eastern end of Riffe Lake in Lewis County. It’s burning debris in a recently logged area.

Another fire has burned about 60 acres of logging debris in the Capitol Forest near Littlerock in Thurston County. Ripley says about 100 firefighters are trying to contain the fire on steep terrain with help from helicopters.

She also says firefighters are mopping up smaller fires near Tenino and La Center.

Oregon wildfires

Southern Oregon fire crews are having what’s described as an unusually busy stretch in early May, particularly with runaway debris burns.

The Douglas Forest Protective Association is urging property owners to take precautions when burning piles of debris, such as having fire tools and a garden hose at the ready.

The firefighting organization also reported that on Sunday it fought a 150-acre fire in rough terrain near Days Creek. It said the cause is under investigation.

The association says it’s been difficult to find firefighting resources so early in the season, but industry and other fire agencies have helped out.

The Umpqua National Forest reported a handful of small weekend fires, two caused by humans and four by lightning Sunday.