Area firefighters were on the scene, beating back a growing brush near Highway 18 on Sunday. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound RFA

Area firefighters were on the scene, beating back a growing brush near Highway 18 on Sunday. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound RFA

Firefighters work to douse brush fire near Highway 18

Area firefighters fought to contain a large, moving brush fire near Highway 18 in the Covington/Maple Valley area on Sunday that threatened homes and property and shut down the highway for several hours, the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority reported.

Fire units were still on the scene late Sunday, and crews continued to work throughout the night and into Monday to extinguish the smoldering fires spread throughout the area, Puget Sound Fire said. The fire is estimated to be 10 to 12 acres in size.

No one has been injured in the fire, and all homes and outbuildings have avoided damage, authorities said.

At 4:02 p.m. a brush fire was called in to 911 in the 25000 block of 188th Avenue Southeast, Kent. When the first fire engine arrived, the fire was growing and moving west toward a nearby home and east into the thick brush.

A fire engine was placed to protect the home as the next two fire engines began to put water on the brush fire. Command arrived and requested additional units to fight the growing fire.

Over the next few hours, the fire slowly progressed toward Highway 18. Eventually, due to poor visibility, Washington State Patrol shut down the two westbound lanes for safety reasons.

With thick brush hampering firefighting efforts, a local agency supplied a helicopter with a water bucket so the advancing fire could be stopped.

Heavy equipment was requested, allowing a fire line to be placed around the fire.

Because of the size of the fire, units from the Valley Regional Fire Authority, Mountain View Fire and Rescue, and Black Diamond Fire assisted Puget Sound Fire.

Zone 3 Explorers arrived to provide rehab for the firefighters.

Cause of the fire is unknown. Officials are investigating.

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