Kennewick firefighters battled two brush fires in a small canyon Saturday that investigators say were started intentionally by kids, ages 12 and 13, playing with fireworks.
Crews were dispatched to the first fire at 8:38 a.m. near Canyon View Elementary, 1229 W. 22nd Place.
It took 12 firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze that burned trees, dead vegetation and grass clippings in the canyon behind the school, said Fire Marshal Mark Yaden.
While fire crews were extinguishing the brush fire, two boys eventually admitted to starting the fire, Yaden said.
About five hours later, crews were called to another fire at 2206 S. Lyle St., about 100 yards away from the brush fire.
Natural vegetation and a dead tree, which posed a serious hazard to firefighters, had been burned, Yaden said.
The tree had to be removed by a tree service company.
Witnesses told police officers at the scene that three boys had been in the area setting off fireworks, Yaden told the Herald. A neighbor said they could see and hear the fireworks, then the fire started and the boys ran off.
It also took about two hours to fully extinguish. The boys later were identified.
Reports on all five boys were being forwarded to prosecutors to review for possible charges of fireworks violations and reckless burning, Yaden said.
"Even this time of year, when everything seems so green, vegetation can be ignited," Yaden said. "We can still sustain a pretty good grass fire this year of year, and it's only going to get worse."