NEWCASTLE – The Bellevue Fire Department, in coordination with the City of Newcastle and the state departments of Natural Resources and Ecology, is monitoring a brush fire in the May Creek ravine near the 12200 block of Southeast 95th Way in Newcastle.
The fire is burning on the hillside in unstable, steep terrain, resisting traditional firefighting efforts so far. Following a recommendation from both Natural Resources and Ecology, Bellevue Fire has ceased efforts to extinguish the fire. (Bellevue is contracted to provide fire protection for Newcastle.)
Safety issues and potential debris run-off led to the determination that the best course of action is to let the fire burn itself out. Firefighters will continue to closely monitor the fire. Until further notice, the May Creek trail is closed to public access.
Currently the fire is not spreading, and no nearby residences are threatened. Smoke may continue to be a nuisance as it is anticipated to take approximately 10 days for the fire go out. Forecasted rains may help reduce the smoke and speed extinguishment.
Investigation into the origin of the fire is ongoing. Updates will be posted on the Newcastle website.