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Fire portends hot weekend ahead on Whidbey

A mid-morning brush fire along Highway 20 south of Coupeville Friday never had a chance.

In anticipation of record-high temperatures this weekend local fire departments were on high alert and responded to the call within minutes.

A Coupeville Deputy Marshal was the first to arrive on scene, closely followed by Central Whidbey Fire Department, said acting Chief Chad Michael.

"The bulk of it was out by the time we got there," he said of the spark that left a 20-by-20-foot scorch mark amid the tall, dry grass along the southbound lane of Highway 20.

As a precaution, the call went out to multiple departments, Michael said.`

Lt. Mari St. Amand of South Whidbey Fire and Rescue said the mini-burn was likely caused by a cigarette butt or small spark from a truck chain.

Island County's burn ban will remain in effect through the fall, Michael said.

The National Weather Service predicts a high-level of fire danger across the state this weekend, due to temperatures in the mid-80s to 90s. Whidbey Islanders taking to the beaches and trails along with hundreds of fair-weather-seeking tourists should keep water handy and fight any temptation to play with matches this weekend.

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