Practice burn offers 'live' experience

Once you realized it wasn't anyone's home, Saturday morning's practice burn by Clallam County Fire District No. 3 was a fascinating spectacle.

It drew a crowd of onlookers and amateur photographers to 1212 S. Third Ave., Sequim, future site of Phase 1 of the Foothills subdivision.

District spokesman Lt. Bob Rhoads said the fire burned more quickly than firefighters would have liked, lasting a little more than two hours.

But it still gave the more than 30 firefighter recruits and volunteers experience in observing fire behavior and handling hose lines as well as nozzle control and spray patterns, he said.

Firefighters also learned to recognize the significance of the white, gray and black smoke and the intensity of the flames, Rhoads said.

Several Explorers - high school age firefighter cadets - also were there for "observation and education," said Fire Chief Steve Vogel.

The fire was started with wooden pallets inside the house and was contained and then allowed to grow again until the flames found their way into the house's attic.

Once that occurred, firefighters shifted to a defensive posture where the fire is prevented from spreading and allowed to burn itself out.

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