Firefighters: Deadly Marysville brush fire spread quickly due to hot, dry conditions

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Hot and dry conditions have firefighters in the Puget Sound on high alert, and those conditions may have contributed to taking an 85-year-old man’s life.

There is still an active investigation into how this man died, but one thing the Marysville Fire District could tell us was the fire that started on his property would not have spread so quickly if it weren’t for these hot and dry conditions.

In a quiet neighborhood in Priest Point, the accident that cost the man his life caught the attention of neighbors.  Investigators say the outdoor conditions didn’t help the situation.

“The example that we have in this fire today is that it looks very green, but it burned very well so all the undergrowth that is underneath the green vegetation is dry and dead; there is no moisture,” said Chief Tom Maloney with the Marysville Fire District.

When emergency responders arrived, they say they saw smoke and heard a man yelling. They put the flames out and then discovered the man’s body at the bottom of a steep embankment. Neighbors believe their elderly neighbor’s fire pit spread out of control.

“He attempted to burn some trash in his backyard; my understanding is it got out of hand on him,” said neighbor Robert Post.

Fire investigators say regardless of the cause, Thursday’s deadly fire is a cautionary tale for the hot weather days ahead.

“We are seeing a significant fire danger right now even though we are classified as moderate, but this hot weather that is going to come this weekend and the Fourth of July only put us at high and extreme fire danger,” said Maloney.