Three brush fires in Benton County that started within 30 minutes of one another kept fire crews from three fire districts busy Wednesday.
All three fires quickly were extinguished.
Benton Fire District 2 firefighters were the first to get called out at2:20 p.m. for a small fire in Weber Canyon near Benton City.
Officials said it was a small smoldering fire in the corner by a canal. Nothing was threatened by the fire and it's not clear how it started.
Benton Fire District 4 crews in West Richland were called around 2:40 p.m. to a brush fire near 34003 N. Sage Drive.
About a half-acre of sagebrush and cheatgrass burned, but no buildings were threatened, said Capt. Bill Cherwien. Fire District 2 also responded to help.
Ten minutes later, Benton Fire District 1 firefighters were dispatched to a brush fire near Highway 397 and Olympia Street, south of Kennewick.
Crews were able to quickly get to the fire and less than five acres of brush burned down in a valley, said Capt. Devin Helland.
There are a couple of homes on either side of the valley, but there were no winds and the homes never were in danger, he said.
"If the winds had changed, itcould have come up here," Helland said, adding that he had thehomeowners turn on their sprinklers for extra precaution.
The fire danger rating in Benton County was moved up to high on Tuesday because of how quickly the vegetation in the area has died out. Officials warned that with some windy days, the fire rating could easily be moved up to very high or extreme.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org