What happens when there are brush fires on the beach?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

This fire on the Saltwater Park Beach
was fought with lots of hoses
Photo by Wayne Pridemore

After we published a story about Shoreline Fire putting out a beach fire at Saltwater Park in Richmond Beach on July 15 (see article), a reader asked this question:

How was the fire put out? Was the fire truck able to drive over the new bridge (over the railroad tracks) and if not, what would have happened if the fire had spread?

According to Shoreline Fire spokesperson Melanie Granfors, 

A fire engine cannot go across the bridge. When there is a fire on the water side of the beach we have a couple of options.

  1. Park the engine at the entrance to the Bridge, where there is a hydrant ... and we walk across ... laying hundreds of feet of hose as we go. 
    • We don't use the "gator" all-terrain vehicle for this work ... because we need to carry the 100 foot bundle of hose and lay it out as we go. The gator comes in handy when we are picking up the hose afterwards. 
  2. We can also carry pumps across that we can fill with water from the Sound and connect to hoses and use on the beach side.
  3. We can connect to what's called a "stand pipe" near the bathrooms and get 40 gallons a minute flow from the "domestic water source" that normally feeds the bathrooms.
  4. We can call Edmonds "Marine 16", which is a small fire boat that can fight the fire from the water, using their fireboat pump and Puget Sound water.

As we move up the hill, past the bridge it is a lot less complicated. We have hydrants, hundreds and hundreds of feet of hose and we could summon as many mutual aid engines as we need to battle a fire in the park.

As for the fire in the article, it was fought with the engine on one side of the bridge ... and hoses across.


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