A Fourth for fires
June 9, 2008 · Updated 4:45 PM
Small blazes blamed on the discharge of fireworks kept island fire crews moving over the weekend.
The most significant fire scorched a hillside off Logg Road near the vacant end of Rolling Bay Walk, threatening homes and utility poles, Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said.
Eight fires were reported over the holiday weekend, to go with nine aid calls. Bainbridge Police reported a half-dozen motor vehicle accidents, none serious; a DUI and two arrests for minor in possession of alcohol; and a bust for marijuana possession.
All of the blazes were blamed on the discharge of fireworks, probably errant rocket-type devices landing in fields left tinder-dry by the recent run of warm weather.
Investigations were hampered by two factors: the fires typically consumed their own cause, and no one rushed forward to take credit.
Most of the time, the brush fires were finding are started by projectile-type fireworks, which are of course illegal, Walkowski said.
Crews battling the blazes were aided by the recent retrofitting of a Bainbridge fire truck with a foam system, said to be highly effective in knocking down brush fires.
In its first five days of service, the apparatus was used at least seven times, Walkowski said.
Fire crews faced similar problems around the county.
In Suquamish, a bomb squad was called in Saturday to detonate a homemade pipe bomb found near to the slab, a waterfront area that was the scene of rampant fireworks use the previous night.
The bomb was moved to a vacant lot where it was detonated without incident.
And in Poulsbo, the home of Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen was set ablaze by fireworks launched from a neighboring property.
A passing motorist saw the roof on fire at about 4 a.m., and pounded on the front door until the family was wakened. The family fled to safety, and fire crews kept damage confined to the homes exterior.
A week earlier, Endresen had sided with fire officials in voting down a proposal by fellow Commissioner Patty Lent to expand the hours for fireworks sales in unincorporated Kitsap County.