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Rampaging fire makes hottest day even hotter

Firefighters from three departments were summoned to an out-of-control burn pile on Monday afternoon in the 600 block of Northwest Walker Road near Central Valley Road. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Firefighters from three departments were summoned to an out-of-control burn pile on Monday afternoon in the 600 block of Northwest Walker Road near Central Valley Road.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Employees of Corey Construction Company in the 600 block of Northwest Walker Road found out the hard way Monday that what they thought was an extinguished burn pile wasn’t so extinguished.

They reportedly told investigators that they had burned the pile of debris on Friday and thought the fire was out when they piled on more debris Monday afternoon.

“When they dumped it, they disturbed it and gave it just enough air,” said CKFR Battalion Chief Joe Repar.

“Because (the owner) burns frequently, neighbors didn’t call,” Repar said.

A burning complaint, however, did come in at about 2:30 p.m. after the caller noticed smoke in an area off Central Valley Road.

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue searched the area before finding several burning piles in the lot of the excavating company.

“There was a lot of wood, a lot of heat,” said CKFR Battalion Chief Jay Lovato.

The debris pile and a log pile were found on fire. An outbuilding, a derelict boat and a small track bulldozer also were caught in the flames.

“We could hear the hydraulic fluid in the bulldozer boiling,” Lovato said as crews hurried to douse the flames. “We’re trying to get it cooled down.”

Damage estimates were not available by press time on Monday.

The company’s owner thinks he may be able to get the bulldozer operational again, according to Repar.

Crews from CKFR, Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services (formerly the Puget Sound Federal Fire Department) and Poulsbo Fire Department responded as temperatures away from the flames soared near 90 degrees. Firefighters needed four water tenders to supply the fire engines as there are no fire hydrants in the area.

David Jones, a neighbor down the road from the business, was home at the time of the fire.

“I was out in the garage and I started seeing black smoke, then I realized it was black like tires or diesel (burning),” he said. “It was almost like a cloud going over the sun. Then I heard this kaboom!”

The Kitsap County Fire Marshal was called to the scene to investigate the fire.

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