Brush fire threatens highlands homes

August 4, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

Emergency crews work to contain a brush fire in the Issaquah Highlands July 29. By Tyler MacLeod

Emergency crews work to contain a brush fire in the Issaquah Highlands July 29. By Tyler MacLeod

A brush fire tore through a greenbelt in the Issaquah Highlands July 29 and threatened several homes before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Eastside Fire & Rescue crews responded to a 50-foot-by-50-foot fire near Northeast Park Drive and Northeast Katsura Court at about 8:40 p.m. Authorities said the fire encompassed a 100-foot-by-35-foot area of trees and heavy brush.

Responders had received multiple reports of a growing fire in a greenbelt with a steep ravine. Authorities said the blaze threatened several homes and moved toward residences.

“This situation could have been very different if we hadn’t got there quick enough,” EFR spokeswoman Josie Williams said.

Firefighters took steps to ensure residences were not in danger. EFR’s specialized Wildland Team was called to help put out the fire. By the time additional crews arrived at the scene, the fire had been extinguished.

Firefighters spent several hours conducting follow-up operations at the site before the job was completed at about 2 a.m. July 30.

Williams said firefighters were unsure how the blaze ignited, but she said hot, dry conditions were most likely a factor.

The fire damaged no property. A firefighter suffered a minor muscle strain battling the blaze. But record temperatures, steep terrain and the fire’s location presented a challenge for firefighters. Crews had to carry equipment down a steep slope to reach the blaze.

“We really did have a very close call,” Williams said.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment on this story at

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