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News / Northwest

More wildfires burn in Washington; Beam Road Fire now contained at 8, 542 acres

By Joel Martin, Columbia Basin Herald
Published: June 20, 2024, 1:23pm

EPHRATA — A Wednesday afternoon a brush fire, possibly sparked by a passing train, broke out in the area southwest of Ephrata, according to a statement from Grant County Fire District 13, which is based in Ephrata. With the help of Grant County Fire District 3, out of Quincy, the fire was caught at about 2acres.

“Some may not realize our department is all volunteer,” Grant County Fire District 13 wrote. “We pride ourselves on providing the best service possible and work hard to constantly improve. Having enough personnel can be challenging at times as our firefighters have other jobs and families take vacations out of the area. It is not uncommon for some of our firefighters to leave their day job to respond to calls.”

Several local departments, including the Moses Lake Fire Department, the Ephrata Fire Department and Grant County Fire District 5 were deployed this week to fight the Beam Road Fire, just outside Zillah in the Yakima Valley. The fire, which was human-caused, was fully contained Wednesday at 8,542 acres. Costs were estimated at $1.5 million.

These other fires were also burning in Washington Wednesday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center:

  • The Neff Road Fire, discovered June 15 about 20 miles northeast of Pasco, was at 1,439 acres Wednesday. It was fully contained and costs were estimated at $5,000.
  • The Nisqually John Fire, discovered June 14 about 10 miles northwest of Lewiston, Idaho, was fully contained Wednesday at 1,207 acres. Costs are estimated at $211,297.
  • The Pioneer Fire on the shore of Lake Chelan about 30 miles northwest of Wenatchee grew again Wednesday to 4,094 acres. The fire was discovered June 8 in a difficult-to-access area and has been growing since. Costs were estimated at $10 million.
  • The Rest Haven Fire, discovered May 30 on the eastern outskirts of Yakima, remained at 45 acres Wednesday. Containment and cost information was not available. The blaze was attributed to human activity.

A few other fires are reported throughout the state but have burned less than 10 acres and are not included in this report. The majority are less than 1 acre.