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Here are the top stories on columbian.com this week:
Washington Public Lands commissioner and candidate for governor Hilary Franz visited the Tunnel Five Fire site and met with firefighters on Thursday.
“I watched as a crew battled the famously steep slopes of the Gorge, working in the hot sun to keep the Tunnel 5 Fire at bay. A firefighter on the line told me: ‘This is the earliest I’ve ever been out,’” Franz said in a post on Facebook.
- Wildfire near Underwood still at 556 acres
- Earlier story: Tunnel Five Fire in Columbia River Gorge still at 5% containment; evacuation levels expand
- Earlier story: Personnel on Tunnel Five Fire in the Columbia River Gorge almost doubles
Clark Public Utilities found trace amounts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly dubbed “forever chemicals,” in an offline water well.
Test results the utility received in March revealed that its Well 22, located in southwest Clark County, contained perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, at 8 parts per trillion.
Fireworks sparked six fires and caused nearly $1 million in damage in unincorporated Clark County for the Fourth of July holiday, according to fire investigators.
Interim Clark County Fire Marshal Max Booth said the agency responded to one fire Monday, four fires Tuesday and two fires in the early morning hours Wednesday. The fire Monday was a grass fire, and the cause is undetermined, Booth said in an email.
Clark County is home to many small businesses. According to a new study from SmartAsset, that may not be a coincidence. The website ranked Clark County as one of the best counties for small businesses in the state.
The study ranked the county as having the fifth largest small-business presence in Washington, preceded by San Juan County at No. 1, then Jefferson County, Whatcom County and Kittitas County.
Four years ago, Ridgefield became home to a new multi-purpose sports facility — the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex. With its completion, folks from across the Northwest find themselves coming to this town that was once primarily farmland and is now a bustling community.
The RORC, which is owned by the city of Ridgefield, cost around $20 million to build. The question remains: Has this huge investment been an economic boon for the growing town?