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Fire Season Starts Off With A Bang At Hanford With 2,800 Acres Burned

Dry season wildfires are not uncommon at Hanford. This July 2, 2017 photo shows the Silver Dollar Fire northwest of Richland, Washington.
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Dry season wildfires are not uncommon at Hanford. This July 2, 2017 photo shows the Silver Dollar Fire northwest of Richland, Washington.

Firefighters scrambled Sunday night at the Hanford nuclear reservation to corral a 2,800-acre wildfire. Hanford officials said the wildfire started Sunday evening.

The fire, which was put out by midnight, was likely started by lightning and driven by blustery winds. It didn’t burn any buildings at Hanford or any areas where radioactive waste is stored.

Still, Hanford spokespeople said the fire is a good wakeup that the fire season has started in earnest. They’re concerned about tall dried grasses and brush from last year’s wet conditions—and this year’s drier conditions.

Hanford workers have been clearing firebreaks along highways that run through the 586-square-mile reservation.

Last summer, there were two large fires that burned across the Hanford Reach National Monument, BLM, state and private ground near the desert nuclear reservation The East Saddle Mountain Fire was 17,465 acres and the Silver Dollar Fire burned 30,909 acres.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.