Snohomish County Fire District 21 firefighter Trent Nunemaker walks along Highway 9 as he and others fight a large brush fire Wednesday in Bryant. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish County Fire District 21 firefighter Trent Nunemaker walks along Highway 9 as he and others fight a large brush fire Wednesday in Bryant. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

100-acre brush fire north of Arlington may smolder for days

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. A state fire crew continued to battle hotspots Thursday.

BRYANT — A state fire crew expected to battle hotspots for days after a nearly 100-acre brush fire broke out Wednesday afternoon north of Arlington.

The fire erupted around 3:45 p.m. on farmland along Highway 9, south of Stanwood-Bryant Road. In the hours that followed, wind whipped flames through wetlands in a kind of a U shape toward Kackman Road, said North County Fire Chief John Cermak.

An initial rough estimate suggested the fire torched about 40 acres, but because of its off-kilter dimensions, it was not easy to judge the size. A later estimate pegged the burnt land at 80 to 100 acres.

Around 100 firefighters — from North County, neighboring fire districts and the state Department of Natural Resources — responded to quell the flames. It was under control by sunset, and moisture in cooler ocean air helped to dampen the ground.

No people were hurt. No buildings were damaged.

An official cause hasn’t been declared, though early on firefighters suspected someone’s outdoor burning got out of control.

DNR firefighters continued to extinguish smoldering roots and trees on Thursday, and North County firefighters planned to provide a tender to help with water supply.

A spell of dry weather led to at least five notable brush fires this week, including three in the Marysville area and one near Mount Baker.

Cermack asked people to burn only brush outdoors if it’s permitted and absolutely necessary — especially when firefighters have other things to do, working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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