Zintel Canyon fire scorches quarter acre

Firefighters are still trying to figure out what caused an early Saturday fire in Zintel Canyon.

The blaze started around 12:40 a.m. just north of the 10th Avenue bridge in a heavily treed area away from the Spirit of America Trail, said fire Capt. Brian Ellis.

Firefighters were able to keep the flames contained to about a quarter acre and away from homes along the side of the canyon. The fire spread into the upper branches of the trees, which kept firefighters there for a few hours.

The smoke sent firefighters back to the area several times during the day.

The 68-acre natural park that stretches between Seventh Avenue and 24th Avenue is a popular walking area in the city. After a series of eight fires last year, the city worked to clear the dead leaves and brush, especially along the hillside.

Ellis said they are still urging people to make sure the brush doesn’t come up to their fences.

“This is a good time to cut back that foliage,” he said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.