Orcas Island Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a wildland fire in the area of Shadow Road on Friday, August 14th around 3:20 p.m.
Crews were returning from a previous call and were in the 2700 block of Orcas Road when they reported seeing a plume of smoke across Eastsound Bay in the approximate area of the Highlands.
Fire personnel were able to triangulate the location of the wildfire with the aid of bystanders located at higher elevations on an adjacent ridge. However, a communications outage that lasted 15-minutes hindered initial triangulation of the fire and left requests for additional apparatus and personnel unanswered. Dispatch was able to reach personnel by cell phone to receive updates on fire location and once communications were back online dispatched necessary resources to the Shadow Road fire.
The fire was located on a vacant cliffside lot and consisted of burning grass, brush, timber, logs and duff. Growing to approximately one-half acre, crews were able to quickly close it off from spreading to adjacent homes and properties.
A total of 3100 gallons of water was shuttled in to assist in extinguishing the fire, which was 100% contained by sundown with personnel conducting fire patrol throughout the week. The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Orcas Island Fire and Rescue also responded to multiple critical medical calls throughout the island during the course of the fire, with three medical evacuation flights completed during that time.