SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane County Fire Department firefighters were deployed to a wildfire burning on the Yakima military training center Friday.
About 200 firefighters have been on scene since the fire started Wednesday night. Yakima Training Center Official Mike Daniels said when the fire first started, only Yakima county crews were needed, but because of rapid growth, statewide resources were called in. Aerial resources are also working towards containing the fire.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources said the 400 Fire has spread across 32,000 acres, burning grass and brush. It continued to grow due to high winds and fuel from the wet spring. But firefighters have been successful in their efforts and have gotten the blaze down to less than 25,000 acres.
Daniels said the blaze aggressively spread towards the Wanapum Village near Priest Rapids Dam. Evacuations were issued, forcing 225 residents to leave the village. However, crews were able to stop the fire from entering the village. Daniels said no structures were harmed so occupants were able to return to their homes Friday morning.
The WSDNR said they hope to have the fire 100% contained by the end of the day. The cause of the fire is unknown. Daniels said it may have been dry lightning, but the fire is still under investigation.