A human-caused wildfire in south/central Washington has burned 41,920 acres 31 miles east of Yakima (see the map below). The fire has spread onto a portion of the Hanford Nuclear site that is closed to visitors but does not pose a danger to the public, according to the Washington state Department of Ecology’s Nuclear Waste Program — the agency responsible for oversight of federal environmental cleanup at the site.
The fire began Thursday morning as two fires burned together, and by 6 p.m. had blackened 8,000 acres.
By Saturday afternoon the spread of the fire had slowed considerably and firefighters expect to have it contained by Sunday.
The Cold Creek Fire is the largest in Washington so far this year. The next largest was the 243 Command Fire that burned 20,380 acres 13 miles west of Royal City.
The U.S. Department of Energy, which manages #Hanford Site, reported the #ColdCreekFire is not affecting on-site operations. The fire is near Rattlesnake Mountain on the Hanford Site, and was most recently reported at 15,000 acres burned. @EcologyWA #WAwildfire #wildfire pic.twitter.com/0kNrLohRek
— Ecology – Hanford (@ecyHanford) July 19, 2019