A fire that raced through 10-acres of fields west of Redmond Wednesday is extinguished and residents who were forced to evacuate are back in their homes. Now comes the investigation phase into what caused the fire and there’s no clear answer.
The fire was reported about 3:00 p.m. Wednesday. Pushed by gusty winds, hot temperatures and fueled with dry grass, it raced through fields toward several homes.
“It’s pretty scary, you know, to realize you could lose everything,” said Adlan Jarms, one of several Obsidian Avenue area residents who were forced to evacuate.
Firefighters protected homes, but four outbuildings were damaged. Two are considered total losses.
Investigators have determined an area of origin of Wednesday’s 10-acre fire that forced the evacuation of several homes, but they haven’t been able to determine the cause.
“Cause is what we classify as undetermined fire,” said Tom Mooney, Fire Marshal for the Redmond Fire & Rescue. “What that means is we have other ignition sources that we just can’t rule out. It doesn’t mean we can’t figure it out. It means we can’t rule out other ignition sources from causing the fire.”
Redmond fire officials say homeowners need to understand and implement the “Ready, Set, Go” evacuation preparedness plan.
- Level One: Get Ready, involves preparing defensible space around your home so that is less likely to be lost in a wildfire.
- Level Two: Get Set means having a go-bag packed and ready with whatever you need to be away from your home for a while.
- Level Three: Go means leave now.
“It happened so very quickly and you don’t really have time to do much and you always think of something that you left behind, which I have,” said Jarms, “But there is nothing you could do about it now.”
“What I saw yesterday was they weren’t sure what to grab,” Mooney said. “If you are in a Level 3 and you get that call, you don’t have any time to pack anything. The fire’s imminent. You’ve got to go now.”
With yet another heat wave, tinder dry fuels and no rain in sight, it’s a safe bet there will be more fires and evacuations locally before this fire season is over.