More crews head to Yakama reservation fire
A state fire management team will take over a wildfire that was sparked by lightning on a closed area of the Yakama Indian Reservation.
The Associated Press
A state fire management team traveled to assume oversight of a lightning-sparked wildfire on the Yakama Indian Reservation Tuesday, as additional storms with lightning swept through parts of Eastern Washington.
At least 115 firefighters were already at the scene of the wildfire burning in a forest in the Diamond Butte area, about 15 miles northwest of White Swan on a closed area of the reservation.
The state team was responding to aid those efforts because the fire was burning toward timber in the Ahtanum State Forest, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bryan Flint said.
The fire, which was estimated at less than a square mile, was not threatening any structures.
The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for extreme fire danger in Eastern Washington Tuesday, and forecasters predicted thunderstorms with lightning for parts of the region.
Lightning raises the potential of new fires igniting in areas that have experienced high temperatures with low humidity and little to no precipitation in recent weeks. However, some of those storms could also be accompanied by rain, which would help to douse new fire starts.
Fire crews to the north were still hoping on Tuesday to fully contain a wildfire that has destroyed 51 homes and 26 outbuildings, and damaged at least six other homes, fire information officer Mark Morrow said.
The fire was 57 percent contained early Tuesday. Property damage has been estimated at $8.3 million.
The fire started Aug. 13 near a bridge construction site, though the exact cause remained under investigation.
Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com