Fireworks spark blaze on Keystone Avenue

A witness driving by the area of the fire saw someone lighting off bottle rockets or Roman candles.

Officials are looking for anyone involved with lighting fireworks in a field that sparked a brush fire on Keystone Avenue near Coupeville on Saturday.

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Jerry Helm said a witness showed firefighters a video of a car fleeing the scene. The witness had been driving by the area around 5 p.m. when he or she saw someone lighting off bottle rockets or Roman candles, Helm said, so the person turned back to report the fire.

The agency posted photos of the car in the witness’s video to social media and asked that anyone with information contact the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Helm said the fire grew to about 100 feet by 40-50 feet. It was in a rocky area with little grass, which Helm said kept it from growing more intense. He wanted to remind people that the island is extremely dry and encouraged them to be on guard for fire danger. He also encouraged people to walk around their houses to ensure no fire fuels like grass clippings or yard debris are piled close to their houses.

“We’re in a time where the fire possibility is extremely high because of high temperatures and lots of fuel, so just be extra vigilant and careful,” he said.

Last week the department responded to a 10-acre fire near Outlying Field Coupeville that firefighters believe was sparked by a tractor. The week before, firefighters fought a half-acre fire on the North End that they believed was started by a lawnmower.

Island County is currently in a Type II burn ban for the foreseeable future. It restricts all outdoor burning, including yard waste, campfires and the use of fireworks.