What would you do if you saw or heard that a forest fire was sweeping up through the Chuckanut Crest community and the “Trunk Road” was blocked or too dangerous to use? How would you get out to a safer place? Would you know what to do? The Chuckanut Crest Emergency Evacuation Committee has prepared this page to help us prepare for an evacuation emergency. Be sure to sign up for AlertSense Notifications.
An early August wildlands fire on Chuckanut Mountain reminded CCA members of the importance of being vigilant and extra careful about fire safety. The Burnout Log Road fire began on the western slope of Chuckanut Mountain, some 4-6 miles south of the Chuckanut Crest area. As many as 130 firefighters worked on the blaze, assisted by 2 helicopters scooping water from Samish Lake and 2 bulldozers creating a perimeter around the fire. At this writing it appears the fire is coming under control. But in the case of future fires, homeowners are encouraged by the State Department of Natural Resources to do the following:
CCA member David Gregory had “an unappreciated adventure” in late July. “Around 7:30 A.M. the acrid smell of smoke woke me up. It was unusually pungent. I threw on some clothes and went downstairs to check the kitchen, the garage and the storage area under the house. Nothing. Walked out to the edge of the gangplank jutting out from the deck. Wisps of dirty gray smoke drifted through the tops of the pine trees from somewhere down to the northeast of me. Very hard to discern where the fire actually originated. Called the fire department.” Since David’s home is actually in the city, it was the city fire department that responded initially, later supported by the South Whatcom Fire Authority and the State Department of Natural Resources. It took well more than an hour of pouring over maps of the area and on-the-ground exploration before the fire was actually located on a vacant CCA member lot near David’s house.
“It was the type of slow burning, under ground fire that (CCA Member) Jim Wood discovered two summers ago on top of the mountain.”
“At first (the initial responding city fireman) thought that the fire might have been started by street people camping up here… On further investigation we found a large plastic folding table red Dixie cups scattered around the lot. The tall grass had been crushed under on the flat part of the lot by a car and a truck. Unless street people are now driving cars it had to be somebody who has access to our gate code. No car can get up the trail from California Street. And, I don’t see street people dragging a heavy folding plastic table up the mountain with them. It is obvious that somebody was having a party down there last night and before they left flicked a cigarette butt into the woods. There were no remains of a campfire. The fact that they left the table implies that they're coming back.”
The take-away from this story:
Seen the New Lending Library? It’s located next to the upper bank of mailboxes. It’s the brainchild of CCA members Donna and John Inglis. As Donna explained,
“It really came about as I would find myself coming across libraries in other neighborhoods and later returning to swap a book or two. I would often meet the "host" and have a friendly chat...seems sharing book reviews is one of those easy ways to start conversation with a stranger. Eventually the light bulb went off and I thought, "We need one of these in our neighborhood". So, I set out to find one of a design that seemed congruent, invited a gaggle of our known bookworms over for a book-swap party and voila! The little library was seeded with about 200 books and it's been up and running since.”
Stop by soon, take a book and leave a book. And thank our neighbors Donna and John for this delightful addition to our neighborhood.
As residents of this beautiful mountain it is sometimes good to remind ourselves that there are many neighbors who volunteer their valuable time, talent and energy to help keep our community maintained and livable. As you know there are those who assist with our roads our water issues, our legal matters and other community business. They all merit our gratitude.
Then sometimes there are those who do some extraordinary things that I believe deserve a notice of gratitude. Some of us perhaps may not be aware of it? However, were it not for the alert and helpful actions of our resident, Dr. James Woods, this past weekend we could have had a major disaster? He alerted and directed the various fire units on the circuitous route up the mountain top to a fire that that had smoldered, was beginning to flame up and was being fanned by the wind. This quick action helped quell what could have been big trouble for us. Since then a County burn ban has been issued. Big thanks go out to Jim.
That’s not all! That was Dr. Jim’s morning. In the afternoon he received an emergency call from a neighbor whose wife had a most unfortunate fall receiving serious injuries. He comforted and assisted his neighbors while waiting for the medics, then followed them to the hospital. The injured was then helicoptered to Harborview in Seattle and will likely have a long recovery.
Should you see Jim a nod of gratitude or a high five is certainly in order.
Healing thoughts are also sent to our residents on their misfortune.
1402 Chuckanut Crest Drive
Comment by Barbara Ellwood
Neighborhood Police Officer Eric Osterkamp, Bellingham Police Department invites us to join
It is a private social network for neighbors in Chuckanut Crest.
I want to introduce myself, I am Eric Osterkamp and am assigned as the new Neighborhood Police Officer to the south Bellingham neighborhoods. I hope to use the Nextdoor program as a way to help answer questions, solve problems, address concerns or an other way that I can assist you. Feel free to contact me here on ND or through the PD email of firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuckanut Bay Community Association hosts a website for the broader Chuckanut Community, of which Chuckanut Crest is a part. Read the Chuckanut News and look up neighbors' contact information in the directory (accessible to registered users only).
To add a post to this page, please email Tyler Shaddix.
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