Crews battle brush fire in Puyallup; now 100-percent contained

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- Firefighters say a large brush fire in Pierce County is now 100-percent contained.

“I actually don't even see any smoke anymore, other than right here right now,” says Bill Debord, as he was driving around his Graham neighborhood this evening. He was trying to figure out if he was going to have to evacuate.

“My horse trailer is full of hay right now, so I either got to start throwing hay out and getting the horses in and get the hell out of here, or I don't know.”

A lot of residents in Graham and Puyallup went on alert, when thick clouds of smoke starting rising from the forested areas near Emerald Ridge High School.

“When we got here, cars were turning around,” says Linda Olson, who lives near the high school. “We just weren't sure what to think.”

Crews say when the fire started just before noon, it was only two acres. But as the winds picked up, the fire quickly grew to around 40 acres. The conditions concerned Olson.

“You hear stories of fires jumping streets or doing weird things,” she says. “If it's windy the firefighters don't have control over it.”

But the winds died down enough tonight, for helicopters with the Department of Natural Resources to make some water drops. Firefighters from around Pierce County are continuing to cut lines to try to prevent the fire from spreading towards homes. They say they’re making progress and when they get more containment, they will start investigating what started this fire.

There was another brush fire in the area just a few weeks ago. But right now, they don’t think the fires are connected.

“It just happens to be that this is a very dry area with lots of brush back there,” says Scott Engle, a public information officer for Pierce County.

“It is highly unusual,” says Olson. “We’ve never had this happen. To have it happen twice in less than a month, it is very unusual.”