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Wildfire Near Goldendale, Wash. Grows Large

Over the weekend the wildfire burning near Goldendale, in southeast Washington, grew to more than 20,000 acres.

Firefighters are battling flames in grass, brush and timber. So far, no homes have burned, but the fire has closed a highway that runs between the towns of Toppenish and Goldendale.

The blaze called the Mile Marker 28 fire is moving toward the town of Bickelton, Washington and is about 25 percent contained. More than 1,200 firefighters are working about 78 miles of fire line.

Steve Derry is a fire crew chief. He was just getting ready to head back out.

“You know there is a lot of steep terrain, you know last night it was really smoky, so we didn’t get any good fresh air," Derry says. "It’s just your standard firefighting. It’s steep, it’s rugged, it’s a good time, it’s good for ya.”

Conditions are tinder dry and hot in southeast Washington right now, although cooler temperatures are helping crews. Firefighters recently flew over the blaze collecting infrared images to better see how and where the fire is going.

On the Web:

Mile Marker 28 Fire - InciWeb 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.