Firefighters fighting fires in Tri-City area

July 4, 2013 

Large cloud of smoke behind Badger Mountain area from brush fire. Taken at GESA Stadium in Pasco.

BOB BRAWDY

— Fire crews were stretched thin Thursday as many Benton County agencies helped respond to a difficult to reach, 100-acre fire between Kennewick and Benton City.

Wind, low humidity and hot temperatures Thursday afternoon and evening created an environment for spreading fires, according to a warning from the National Weather Service.

Firefighters even used Twitter to plead with Tri-Citians to consider delaying igniting their fireworks until conditions improved, or at least use extra caution.

The wildland fire near Webber Canyon and Dennis roads started about 4:30 p.m.

A few hours later, the fire still was not under control, according to fire officials. No homes were threatened.

Among the difficulties was access — since the area north of the Kennewick Irrigation District canal where the fire was burning was fairly steep and not accessible by fire trucks, said Capt. Mike Harris with Benton Fire District 1.

His agency was among those helping Benton Fire District 2.

It’s going to be up to bulldozers and helicopters to help put out the fire, he said Thursday evening.

“It’s windy, we are spread thin,” Harris said.

Fire crews were fighting the Webber Canyon fire and several other small ones simultaneously.

Reports of small fires continued into the evening.

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