Jane Stebbins
The Curry Coastal Pilot

Fifteen firefighters from Brookings, Harbor and Coos Forest Protective Association extinguished a three-quarter-acre brush fire in heavy gorse in the Dawson Tract north of Brookings.

According to Brookings Fire Chief Jim Watson, homeowners on Holmes Drive heard what they thought were three fireworks explosions on the beach below.

“Then they saw a glow, and the glow kept getting bigger,” Watson said. “We hit it with an aggressive attack, and then the fog came in. If we hadn’t gotten water on it, if the fog hadn’t gotten there, we were pretty close to start knocking on doors and telling people to go because of the fire behavior.”

Flames were about 40 high on the hillside and burning in gorse, a noxious weed.

“That’s the bush that burned Bandon down in the 1960s,” Watson said. “It’s just nasty. And there were homes all around it.”

“Good damn thing it didn’t take away up that hill,” said Harbor Fire Chief John Brazil. “There’s a lot of homes sitting on top of it. The potential was bad.”

Harbor firefighters received three calls in 12 minutes, further taxing their resources.

They were headed to the Dawson Tract fire when they received a report of a possible electrical fire at Seaview Assisted Living.

“We rerouted to Seaview, then I had to tell our lieutenant to switch engines to the brush truck and go to the fire,” Brazil said.

“It was an electric fire at Seaview, so we sent an engine to the brush fire, then Cal-Ore needed assistance with a patient going to Gold Beach.

“We were able to cover all three incidences,” he continued. “We stopped a good fire, got a guy to the hospital, and kept Seaview from going sideways. It was a fun morning.”

17724190