Firefighters responded to two wildland fires in just three days in the past week, when strong winds whipped up burning brush piles, quickly igniting dry vegetation nearby.
Fire crews contained a fire on the Twisp-Winthrop East County Road at less than 1 acre on Thursday (March 19), although access to the upper field was complicated, according to Okanogan County Fire District 6. The fire was started when the wind came up suddenly, spreading fire from a small burn pile to dry grass.
On Saturday (March 21), Twisp, Carlton and Winthrop units responded to another wildfire that had spread to a field from debris burning, on Nordang Road south of Twisp. The fire had been knocked down when firefighters arrived, but full containment in the field took some time, according to the fire district.
“It’s getting dry quickly and the spring winds have begun. Be careful out there,” the fire district admonished on its Facebook page.
People may not be aware of how fast wind comes up, particularly on spring afternoons. “We need to prepare for fire season but USE CAUTION!!! Clear around the pile before you ignite it. Have a shovel and water at hand,” the fire district urged.