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This popular Tri-Cities outdoors spot reopens Wednesday

The Bateman Island causeway allows people to reach the island from Columbia Park Trail in Richland. The island is to reopen June 13.
The Bateman Island causeway allows people to reach the island from Columbia Park Trail in Richland. The island is to reopen June 13. Tri-City Herald

The city of Richland plans to re-open Bateman Island on Wednesday morning nearly a year after a fire burned across 70 percent of it.

The island, reached by walking across a causeway, is popular for hiking, fishing and bird-watching.

The causeway starts at Wye Park off Columbia Park Trail near the north end of Columbia Center Boulevard where the Yakima River flows into the Columbia River.

Richland leases the 160-acre island from the Army Corps of Engineers, with both agreeing that the public can start visiting the island again.

The vegetation destroyed by the fire had grown back by May. But city officials needed more time to make sure the island was safe.

The City of Richland shared video footage from their drone of the brush fire that scorched Bateman Island in Richland.

They cut down burned trees that posed a risk of falling on hikers and hauled out some debris from homeless camps that were revealed when fire burned away the vegetation.

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A fire burning across Bateman Island in July 2017 lit up the sky and left the park closed for 11 months. Courtesy Jonathan Hooley

The island is maintained as a natural area.

The blaze, which burned in mostly the center of the island, is believed to have been caused by people.

Annette Cary; 509-592-1533
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