DNR Assists Thurston County Firefighters at Wildfire Near Bucoda Monday


At 12:35 p.m. on Monday, a 911 caller reported there was smoke coming from a forest near the intersection of state Route 507 and Troy Street Southeast between Bucoda and Centralia.

The South Thurston Fire Department responded along with the West Thurston Fire Authority, which were on the scene assisting the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

According to Chris Gray, lieutenant with South Thurston Fire, the thickness of the forest impeded firefighters ability to get to the flames, which prompted crews to call for DNR helicopters. 

The aircraft were pulling water from the Skookumchuck River before flying over the approximately half-acre patch of forest that was burning and dumping the loads of water. 

Crews determined the fire was not a threat to any structures as of about 3 p.m. on Monday. Crews were going to stay at the scene with the goal of controlling the fire before the wind picked up in the later afternoon.

Gray said the department has only responded to two wildfires in their district over the summer.

As fire season has the potential to get worse over the coming weeks, he advised anyone who sees a large amount of smoke to “get on the phone and call 911. At least (then) we can evaluate. It’s better to start sooner.”