A firefighter uses infrared technology to identify hotspots left over from last week's Scatter Creek Fire. 

Photo courtesy West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Thermal Imaging Helps Firefighters Cool Last of Hotspots in Grand Mound

By The Chronicle

Exactly a week after wind fueled the 500-acre Scatter Creek Fire in Grand Mound, firefighters are using thermal imaging technology to find and eliminate the last hotspots.

“If it all goes well tonight, most crews and the Statewide Incident (Management) Team will withdraw and hand back command to local DNR and West Thurston Fire,” according to a Wednesday afternoon release from the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The RFA thanked community members who showed support in the past week.

“Special thank you go to the countless citizens and businesses who have offered relief, well wishes and food (and coffee!) to firefighters through the last week. Your kindness and generosity has been overwhelming,” according to a release.

The Scatter Creek Fire was first reported at about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 22 and grew to nearly 500 acres by the time fire crews had it under control.

The fire burned two primary residences, two outbuildings, two front loaders, three semi trailers, one historical cabin and a historical barn, two personal vehicles, one excavator, two commercial vehicles, one commercial building, a tub grinder and numerous utility poles.

About 345 acres burned in the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area. Unpredictable shifting winds drove the fire quickly, firefighters said last week.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to evaluate actual and potential impacts of the fire to the wildlife area in order to identify which natural resources will recover on their own and which will need help, according to the West Thurston Fire release.

Area residents should no longer see smoke in the area. Anyone who sees smoke should call 911, according to West Thurston Fire.

While the Scatter Creek and Prather fires are out, fire danger is still high in the area, with high temperatures and low humidity forecast through next week. Area residents should work to build defensible space around their homes and cut tall grasses.

For more information on creating defensible space, go tofirewise.org.