Forks fireworks canceled, one home burns in Bogachiel Way blaze

Dispatchers getting calls across Clallam County

By Leah Leach

DNR was to have four engines on site last night. Today they will do a recon flight and begin mopping up to control and extinguish: some 40 acres burned. One residence was lost, but no injuries.

All Forks Fourth of July events, including a demolition derby and city fireworks show, were canceled as of about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday because of a growing brush fire at the end of Bogachiel Way that has burned at least one structure.

Mayor Tim Fletcher issued a ban of all consumer fireworks and outdoor burning.

About 35 homes were evacuated, Bogachiel Way was closed to traffic and the Clallam County Emergency Operations Center has been activated as the fire, reportedly at 30 to 40 acres, according to Rod Fleck, city attorney for the Forks.

“It is growing,” said Undersheriff Ron Cameron, Emergency Management Department manager earlier Tuesday. “It is moving east, which is not something we want because that is the populated area.”

At about 8:40 p.m., Cameron said it appeared that firefighters were approaching containment and none were actively fighting structure fires.

The blaze was being fought by both local fire crews and crews from the state Department of Natural Resources, according to Peninsula Communications dispatchers.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at the Forks High School, 261 Spartan Ave., which had about 20 people by about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday.

PUD has shut off power to Bogachiel Way and residents will be without power for an unknown length of time, dispatchers said.

By Tuesday afternoon, the fire had burned three electrical poles, which will have to be replaced, Hartman said.

The initial request for action from the PUD was made at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday with additional requests made during the afternoon.

Peninsula Communications dispatchers said they are fielding numerous fire complaints across Clallam County.

“The high winds and hot weather have created dangerous conditions,” they said in a Facebook post.

“Please use fireworks responsibly (if at all) and be aware of sparks and other fire sources. Be safe out there and be mindful of the high fire danger.”