Officials say Silver Dollar Fire burned 20,000+ acres, 30-percent contained
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Officials lifted all evacuation notifications from the Silver Dollar Fire and there is no threat to the Hanford site.
However, hundreds of firefighters are continuing their efforts to control the large grass fire near State Route 24.
Authorities said 400 people from multiple agencies are on scene and some have even been there since the fire started Sunday afternoon.
Officials said the fire has burned 20,000 plus acres and is 30-percent contained.
However, crews are working on the ground and in the air to control the flames.
"We're utilizing what we call fire bosses and those are a scooping air craft. They can fly low over the Columbia River or any large body of water and scoop water, fly out to the fire and drop the water on the fire,” said Incident Commander Chris Hutsell.
Crews also using “air tankers” to drop fire retardant to slow down the fire, and bulldozers to make a line to contain them. Officials say high winds and temperatures are causing the fire to spread quickly.
But, many firefighters continue to put out hot spots along miles of burnt brush.
"You go along the fire edge and spread the material and make sure that there's no heat. If there's heat along the edge, the wind comes up and it can blow embers into receptive fuels and start another fire," said Hutsell.
That's why officials urge everyone to be careful in this weather.
"We are in our hot time of year. We're in July and we're expecting [temperatures in the] 90's, so this fuel does cure and it is real susceptible to fire. Just a minute spark could set off a wildfire," added Hutsell.
With 4th of July celebrations, crews asking people to be safe.
Officials said homes, orchards, vineyards, power lines and communication sites are currently threatened.
The command team is moving their post to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
They said crews will continue to work into the night.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.