Locals grateful to firefighters for saving homes from fast-moving fire on Candy Mountain
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. – Residents said they're thankful to the firefighters who worked for nearly a dozen hours, to put out the fire that threatened homes on Candy Mountain.
"We got a knock on the door and some kid said you need to evacuate your home the mountain is on fire, I just couldn't process it," West Richland resident Leslie Olds said.
When she walked to her door step, she couldn’t believe the fire barreling down Candy Mountain.
"We were just seeing the flames jump up because at that point it close, and you can see the house clearly, but there was so much smoke it disappeared," Olds said, speaking of her neighbor’s home across the street.
Woken up in the middle of the night being told her family needed to evacuate... Leslie Olds says it was hard to process seeing the fire barreling down candy mountain...
"Seeing it was surreal, and scary," Olds said. "In the 16 years I've lived here I've never seen a fire that bad on the mountain."
She her neighbors watched as the firemen worked tirelessly to protect their homes.
"The firemen were doing so good, and making this long line, and keeping the fire from them," she said.
Firefighters were on scene from 12:30 a.m. until noon Friday working to contain and mop up the fire on Candy Mountain.
Fire fighters said a couple blazes started on the interstate and spread quickly, threatening dozens of homes and burning 250 acres.
"From the interstate to the top of candy mountain probably took less than 10 minutes," Benton County Fire District #4 Captain Ed Dunbar said.
Dunbar said they think the fire started accidently from a broken-down car along the interstate.
"It looks like some debris came off a car and started those three fires,” he said. "That shows just how dry it is that even at 12:30 at night, it was dry enough, the debris was hot enough, the fuel was ready to take off."
And Olds said in those early morning moments she had to think fast.
"You don't know until it really happens, nothing my close or my furniture didn't mean anything to me, it was more my grandma and great-grandma's things," she said.
Olds said she's glad her home and her neighbors are safe, all thanks to the men and women who serve as our fire fighters.
Firefighters said the Candy Mountain fire is a strong indication of how dry our area is, so even with our temperatures dropping they want to remind the community that there is still fire danger.