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News / Clark County News

Tumtum Fire grows to 28 acres in rural Clark County; spectator vehicles hamper efforts

Extra vehicles on narrow roads made water tender access more difficult

By Lauren Ellenbecker, Columbian staff writer
Published: August 22, 2023, 10:51am
4 Photos
Crews from Clark County Fire District 10 and 13 are assisting the Washington State Department of Natural Resources DNR on the TumTum Fire on Forest Service 54 Road.
Crews from Clark County Fire District 10 and 13 are assisting the Washington State Department of Natural Resources DNR on the TumTum Fire on Forest Service 54 Road. (Clark County Fire District 10) Photo Gallery

Firefighters battled a fire that appeared Monday evening near Tumtum Mountain in northeast Clark County, containing it about a day later.

Aerial personnel estimated the fire spread 28 acres in forestland.

Washington Department of Natural Resources, as well as Clark County Fire Districts 10 and 13 responded to the fire around 7:40 p.m. Monday near Forest Road 54 in the Siouxon Creek area, northeast of Yacolt. Five fire engines, four supervisory personnel, three crews and two helicopters were dispatched to the site.

Thomas Kyle-Milward, DNR wildfire communications manager, said the Tumtum Fire significantly diminished early in the day, with roughly 75 percent of it contained after noon Tuesday. DNR does not expect the fire to grow, he said.

No structures were threatened in the immediate area, averting a need for evacuations.

Officials urged people to avoid the area after spectators’ vehicles were blocking access on narrow roads.

“It creates access issues for the water tenders making runs to aid in suppression. The roads are narrow with few turnarounds,” Clark County Fire District 10 said Monday on Facebook.

The Tumtum Fire burned days after Clark County Fire District 10 sent support personnel to the Gray Fire in eastern Washington, which burned more than 10,000 acres, destroyed at least 185 structures and left two dead. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a state of emergency proclamation on Saturday to coordinate resources statewide and mitigate wildfire danger.

An approximate location of the Tumtum Fire can be viewed at CRESA’s wildland fires and evacuation zone webpage.

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Columbian staff writer