Propane torch ignites bush fire near Shine

SHINE – Firefighters extinguished a small bush fire outside a home that was sparked by a resident doing yard maintenance.

Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue (EJFR) responded to the blaze on Saturday.

The resident was using a propane torch to clear brush when an ember blew into the shrubs and immediately ignited into heavy flames and smoke, fire officials said.

At the time of the fire, the wind was blowing 5 to 7 mph, fanning the flames and burning mulch, EJFR officials said in a press release.

The resident and neighbors contained the fire with garden hoses until the fire department arrived and fully extinguished it, EJFR said.

“This was a close call that could have been a major fire,” EJFR Fire Chief Brett Black said in the release. “It highlights why we have a total burn ban in Jefferson County that prohibits any type of outdoor burning.

“If that shrub had been touching the house, it likely would have been a different outcome.”

Black reminded residents that embers can be caused by any number of activities, including grilling using wood or charcoal, a campfire or a lit cigarette butt.

“For the next few months, our area will continue to have low fuel moistures and relative humidity,” he said. “Plants that look green and healthy are receptive fuel beds for ignition … nature is ready to burn this time of year.

“Please help us keep you and your neighbors safe.”

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