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VRFA Respond to Brush Fire Near White River


Valley Regional Fire Authority (VRFA) units were dispatched to a brush fire in the 2700 block of Forest Ridge Dr SE Tuesday afternoon. The fire was below Forest Ridge Dr SE, between the ridge and the river.  The call for service came in  that around 4:15 pm.

“Initial arriving units found a rapidly growing fire, moving uphill progressively towards a [vacant] home. E32 made an aggressive attack behind the home on the top of the hillside to stop the fire’s progress and protect the [other nearby] home(s),” said VRFA Public Information Office Ryan Chadwick.

Vrfa, valley regional fire Authority, auburn fire Department, auburn wa, fire engine, engine 31,
VRFA Photo

Chadwick estimates the impacted area to be approximately one acre to no more than an acre and a half.  He clarified that the area “is rough, steep terrain that did not burn clean throughout (meaning pockets of unburned material within the burned area), so it is hard to estimate the size.”

Second Day, Same Location

VRFA were on scene at this location Monday on for a smaller fire.  “The fire was contained and controlled [Monday],” said Chadwick. “In wildland environments, the fire is extinguished or controlled utilizing both water and control lines dug by personnel. The fire afterwards is overhauled, ensuring there are no hot spots. The soil is [also] “gridded” to check the large area for heat that may still be trapped. However, there is always opportunity for heat or embers to be trapped beneath other materials, especially when there is burning into stumps of trees which occurred on both fires.”

“This fire is in a location that is extremely difficult to access due to the steep slopes. We had to deploy three Firefighters on ropes from above to overhaul several hot spots and dig out stumps to ensure it is completely extinguished,” said Deputy Chief Kevin Olson.

The wind had increased since Monday. “This can also cause fire to spread at a higher, faster rate on slope or hill environments,” explained Chadwick.


There was one primary home threatened initially by the fire front. “Obviously in this neighborhood there are multiple other homes nearby,” confirmed Chadwick.

“The houses that were impacted were at or about the 4710 block,” said Olson. “Crews did a really good job of getting water on the fire so it did not spread to any of the structures.”

“The VRFA sent a full residential fire response. In addition to the first arriving units, BR34 was dispatched with additional South King County Brush Units to work the overhaul process of the fire,” said Chadwick.


No civilians or firefighters were injured. The cause is unknown at this time. ”

Updated with additional information: April 3,2019 7:14AM



  1. Allyson McGuire Allyson McGuire April 3, 2019

    This article is inaccurate. The cause IS KNOWN. Transients are the cause. Why would this key detail be omitted from the article? Im disappointed in the fact that the cause was not reported. Im the block watch lead on our street and my house is the home right next to the home that was at risk of being burnt. Its no secret that homelessness and addiction are a large challenge in our city and neighborhood. Please just tell the truth. Its political and I understand our city does not want to admit we have a problem in the eye of the public opinion. Its not ever going to just go away. We MUST talk about the problem and then take action. I will not just sit back and live in a bubble. This article should be updated to say what really caused the fire on Monday

    • Auburn Examiner Auburn Examiner Post author | April 3, 2019

      Thank you for your comment. We understand your frustration. The Auburn Examiner can and will only go off of what fire investigators state as the cause of a fire. We are in no way omitting details, nor failing to ‘tell the truth.’ We depend on reliable, trusted, sources for the information we publish. If you have information that will help in the investigation to determine the official cause of the fire(s), please contact the Valley Regional Fire Department.
      Elizabeth Miller
      Owner and Editor
      Auburn Examiner

  2. […] are the worried posts on community groups proclaiming, “I smell smoke.”  With the frequency of brush fires and expanding size of wildfires in recent years, concern for fire-related incidents has […]

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