The Silver Dollar Fire northwest of Richland was 85 percent contained on Wednesday, helped by a July 4 burnout along Midway Substation Road to secure the northwest portion of the fire area.
Some areas on rocky slopes above the Columbia River that are difficult to reach may be left to burn.
Firefighters pulled a third all-nighter July 4 into Wednesday morning to ensure the fire did not escape containment lines. By the latest estimate, the fire had burned across 23,350 acres of grass and brush in Benton and Yakima counties, with no buildings burned.
With the fire mostly contained, work is starting on repairing the damage from fire suppression, said Jacob Welsh, the Silver Dollar Fire's information officer.
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Berms along dozer lines will be smoothed out and water bars will be built on steep slopes to limit erosion. Fences cut to reach the fire will be mended.
The fire started around noon Sunday and spread onto the Hanford nuclear reservation late that night. Hanford officials are expected to have an assessment completed Thursday on the number of acres burned on the nuclear reservation. The fire did not reach any contaminated areas at Hanford, and was contained there Monday morning.
The air quality in the Tri-Cities has remained in the “good” range much of the time, despite the fire.
Shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, the air quality briefly deteriorated to a condition considered unhealthy for sensitive groups such as babies, seniors and those with chronic illnesses. The Benton Clean Air Agency attributed the issue to both the fire and fireworks.
The White Bluffs Boat Launch on the Columbia River was closed on Monday, but was reopened in time for the Fourth of July.