Stubborn fire burning on Lake Ballinger island

Stubborn fire burning on Lake Ballinger island

30 July 2009

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Firefighters are spending a second day Thursday battling a stubborn fire on Ballinger Island in Lake Ballinger.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 says an illegal barbecue at a makeshift camp site is to blame for the fire. There are no structures on the wooded, peat bog island which is owned by the City of Mountlake Terrace.

A fire started by an illegal campfire burns on Ballinger Island in Lake Ballinger in Mountlake Terrace, Wash. on Wednesday, July 29, 2009.The problem for firefighters is that fire in peat is hard to extinguish because it can smolder for days and even travel underground.

A helicopter dumped water on the fire Wednesday night. Firefighters did not battle the flames overnight because of the danger of holes in the peat they could fall into.

“Our biggest concern is the smoke and its impact on neighbors,” said Leslie Hynes, District 1 spokesperson.

More water drops are planned today, along with a ground attack that includes using hand tools to knock out the hot spots.

The boat launch and park at the north end of the lake in Mountlake Terrace will be closed Thursday and Friday as firefighters battle the fire.

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