Illegal smoldering underground cooking fire sets off a brush fire on College Hill

An illegal underground cooking fire that was smoldering for days sparked a brush fire on Pullman’s College Hill Monday morning.  Pullman City Firefighters were called to the scene of the small blaze at a home on Upper Drive around 8:00.  Crews quickly doused the flames which burned a small patch of grass and bushes.  Pullman’s Fire Marshal was at the scene initially on Friday night when a neighbor reported a small outside fire.  It turned out the residents were cooking a pig and lamb underground.  The fire was not permitted by the city as required by law.  At that point the chef assured the city marshal that they would soak the fire pit once they were done cooking.  It turns out the fire smoldered underground anyway through the weekend likely burning up some roots.  Then Monday morning heat from the underground fire ignited some grass.  The marshal wants to remind Pullman residents that outdoor fires of all types are banned in the city year-round unless you get a special permit from the fire department approved ahead of time.  This underground barbecue was for a large picnic held over the weekend which was associated with a Washington State University group.