Wildfire at Shark Reef Sanctuary, Lopez Island

Lopez County Parks Manager David St. George and Parks Commissioner Bill Scherer survey fire damage at Shark Reef - Contributed photo

Lopez County Parks Manager David St. George and Parks Commissioner Bill Scherer survey fire damage at Shark Reef – Contributed photo

SJ County Parks share this notice about the recent fire on Lopez…

Luck was on our side the morning of June 20th, the start of the Summer Solstice 2016, as an illegal campfire at Shark Reef Sanctuary spread beyond its loose rock ring. Luck in that a citizen across San Juan Channel spotted the smoke and called in the fire, and that the weather had been cool and moist in recent days reducing fire intensity.

Lopez Fire Department personnel carried the day for all who love this special place by responding rapidly to the call, carrying the water and equipment by hand out the park trail to the fire site, and quickly containing the fire.

This park is called a Sanctuary for good reason, with its many special and tranquil spots, views, and abundance of wildlife; so much could have been lost.   A disaster was avoided this time, but it’s an important reminder how easily fire can get out of control. Campfires in parks are only allowed and appropriate in park designated fire-rings. As we get into the busiest and driest part of the year, we all have a responsibility to be vigilant and report suspected illegal fire or activity on our public lands.

The SJC Parks Department staff and Parks Commissioners offer their heartiest “Thank You” to the dozen responders. Thanks to each of you for responding, hiking in with equipment and water to extinguish this unusual, remote, illegal, and potentially disastrous campfire.

Thanks & Gratitude to:

  • Brower, Tyler – FF/Rescue
  • Burt, Orrin – FF
  • Burtness, Ken – FF
  • Felber, Tom – FF
  • Ghigllione, Jim – Chief
  • Hobi, Thomas – SFF
  • Kramer, Vinny – SFF
  • Nou, Rob FF/EMS Sheriff
  • Pal, Caleb – FF/P
  • Post, Stuart – FF Lt./Rescue
  • Red Elk, Tracie – FF/P
  • Tetu, Richard – FF Lt.

San Juan County Parks and Fair Department encourages all residents and visitors to adopt Leave No Trace principles and stewardship ethic while enjoying the San Juan Islands. For more information go to our Leave No Trace web page: http://www.sanjuanco.com/1124/Leave-No-Trace

Posted on June 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm by

Categories: Community, Environment, Nature
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