Finley brush fire burns an estimated 500 acres

Tri-City HeraldJune 17, 2013 

No homes were damaged by a brush fire that burned an estimated 500 acres Monday afternoon near the intersection of Meals Road and East Toothaker Road near Hover Park in Finley.

Fire crews had the blaze around 40 percent controlled by Monday evening and were expected to fight the fire through the night, officials said.

The fire threatened between 10 to 20 homes, said Jeremy Beck of Benton County Emergency Services. No injuries were reported and no one was evacuated. The cause is unknown.

More than 100 firefighters responded with almost 30 vehicles, including 24 engines, officials said. They hailed from at least seven different agencies in the Tri-Cities, as well as the state Department of Fish and Game.

Around 100 cows grazed in a field near the fire. Crews herded them to safety and placed a fire vehicle between the animals and the flames, officials said.

Engines also guarded a 200-acre farm with a wheat field nearby. None of the wheat field had been burned as of Monday night, officials said.

Benton PUD closely watched nearby power poles as the fire spread, though no poles were burned, said spokeswoman Karen Miller. Fire crews were also bracing for lightning that was in the forecast Monday night, Beck said.

Another brush fire in Finley burned June 11 in several different areas near the Tessenderlo Kerley fertilizer plant. Investigators believe that fire was started by a train.

Tyler Richardson: 582-1556;; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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