Abnormally hot day, winds and dry conditions fueled an escaped burn pile debris fire

COURTESY: SHELTER COVE VOL. FIRE DEPT. (KIEM)

SHELTER COVE, Calif. (KIEM)-An abnormally hot day, combined with high winds and dry conditions helped fuel an escaped burn pile Tuesday, according to the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department.

The escaped fire debris near Highview Circle in Shelter Cove happened at about 9:30 p.m. and was started when more than 30-mile per hour winds scattered hot ashes buried under the pile, which caused the fire to spread rapidly.

Public Information Officer Cheryl Antony with Shelter Cove Fire says the initial call came is as a structure fire, but crews arrived the hill side was on fire.

It took nearly 7,000 gallons of water and help from Whitehorn Fire, Whale Gulch Fire and Cal Fire to put the fire in check, which took more than three hours. 

Antony urges the community to make sure burn piles are completely out.

“You look at a pile and it looks like all dead ashes,” she said.  “It’s got to be so cold that you can put your hand down into all of it and it’s cold and wet. It just keeps the heat, and you don’t think it’s going to be hot anymore and all it takes one spark to start a wildfire.”

Antony credits their easy access to fire hydrants for helped prevent the fire from spreading into town.