Local Volunteers Led Initial Attack on Mineral Fire

Blaze: 40-Acre Wildfire Near Mineral is 50% Contained, Fire Crews Report


Fire crews are still working to extinguish a 40-acre fire that broke out in the hills above Mineral Friday afternoon.

The fire was 50 percent contained as of Monday afternoon, according to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Volunteer firefighters with Mineral Fire and EMS were the first on the scene and took the lead in fighting the fire, with help from fire crews from Lewis County Fire District 4, of Morton, until DNR could mobilize and take over Friday night.

“This is an amazing group of people who give of their free time to help and serve others in our community in times of need. Please support these hard-working men and women in our community,” the Mineral Firefighters’ Association posted to its Facebook page on July 10.

As of DNR’s arrival around 9 p.m. on Friday, crews estimated the fire had spread to roughly 30 acres.

DNR brought in two helicopters for air support and fought the fire Friday night with support from Mineral volunteer firefighters.

Mineral firefighters provided water tender services throughout the weekend. Even though the pump in their tender was damaged while fighting the fire on Saturday, crews used gravity to dump water into portable water tanks on the fire line up through Monday morning, when they pulled their tender out for vehicle service.

Pierce County Fire District 23 stepped in to provide water tender support Sunday evening.

An additional airplane arrived on Saturday to drop water from Alder Lake. Additional helicopters arrived on Sunday to help with hot spots on the east side of the fire. As of Sunday night, DNR had four engine crews on the scene, and crews reported the fire was holding at 40 acres.

“We are not in need of food, water or supplies, just need everyone's moral support. And of course our main need is for more volunteer firefighters,” said Mineral Fire in a Facebook update posted at 11 a.m. on Sunday. “We are encouraging anyone interested to apply. No pay, but it is very rewarding and will greatly help our community!”

Fire crews will post updates to the Mineral Community News & Events page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mineralwa/.

Information about the suspected cause of the fire has yet to be released.

The Mineral fire was among 11 new Washington fires reported by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) on July 9. As of Monday afternoon, the NICC reported seven large active fires burning in the Pacific Northwest. Of those, four were burning in Washington, with a total of over 53,000 acres burned between them.

In light of the current fire danger, Lewis County has enacted a total burn ban, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and will remain in effect until further notice. Gov. Jay Inslee has also issued an emergency fire ban. For further information about the current Lewis County restrictions, contact the Lewis County fire marshal at 360-740-2696.