WeatherWatcher: 9th Anniversary of the Lake Ballinger Edmount Island Fire

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Edmount Island from 1st Ave NE on July 29, 2009. Photo by Carl Dinse

On this day in weather history, July 29, 2009, we had an all time record high temperature of 103.4°F,  measured at Sea-Tac and at my own weather station located in Shoreline's Echo Lake neighborhood. On that same evening an illegal barbecue left abandoned on Edmount Island in the middle of Lake Ballinger set the vegetation and soil on fire.

The island is a peat bog -- difficult to control fires on -- especially when the peat catches on fire. Fire fighters had to set up floating water pumps to pump lake water onto the island for over a week before the fire was finally extinguished on August 6, 2009.

Two years later I photographed the island to show how much of the vegetation was lost to the wildfire. We also did a report on it which can be found here.

Edmount Island from 1st AVE NE on August 10th, 2011. Photo by Carl Dinse

For the 9th Anniversary I decided to go take a new photo of the island to compare to see how much it has recovered from this fire nine years ago.

Edmount Island from 1st Ave NE on July 29, 2018. Photo by Carl Dinse

Notice how in each photo, the sky is this brownish grey color? Most summers by this time show the evidence of wildfire season with smoke in the atmosphere from distant wildfires. This year a lot of the smoke appears to be from wildfires burning in Eurasia, Siberia, Alaska and British Columbia.

As we cool down later Tuesday and Wednesday the marine air flow should help clear out this wildfire smoke in the Puget Sound region. At this time longer range forecasts are calling for near normal temperatures for the next week or two, which should be a big relief from all the heat these last two weeks.

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