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Crews stay busy with small brush fires

Small fires don’t go away just because a big one is burning nearby, so local fire agencies were tasked with three grass fires starting at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Two separate fires started almost simultaneously and burned along Highway 197 in Dallesport, in the area surrounding Tidyman Road near the transfer station, Gilmore Fish and Hood River Sand and Gravel.

Cause of one fire is unknown, but the second appeared to be related to the power lines overhead, said Rhett Howard, chief of Dallesport Volunteer Fire Department.

“Witnesses said there was a big flash of light and a loud explosion,” Howard said, noting that Klickitat County PUD responded quickly.

Howard called for aid from surrounding agencies and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Wishram, High Prairie and the National Scenic Area responded, as did a National Guard brush truck that was assisting with the helicopter fire watch at the airport.

“I called for help because the fire was threatening Gilmore Fish and the transfer station,” Howard said.

He estimated the fires burned about 10 acres.

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue also responded to a small grass fire at West Sixth and Hostetler early this morning near Wheeler Communications.

The fire reportedly burned in grass, juniper and a trees before being extinguished.

Scanner traffic indicated a handful of other small fires in the region Thursday morning.

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