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Steep Timber Terrain Fuels Wildfire Near Walla Walla

Anna King
Northwest News Network
The Blue Creek wildfire burns beyond wheat fields, about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington.

The Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to 4,200 acres and is growing to the southeast.

Fire management spokesperson Sarah Foster says part of the battle is the terrain.

"Very steep country and a lot of drainages where you've got timber and other vegetation in the bottoms and then really really steep hills that have a lot of fuel on them,” she said. “So fire moves uphill very quickly and then it'll go back down the other side then move quickly up the next drainage. So that's one of the biggest challenges we have is trying to find those spots that we can make a good stronghold and start constructing some fire line."

About 400 firefighters are on the scene. They're using jets and other aircraft to drop retardant. Foster says the fire was "human-caused" and is under investigation.

The fire is zero percent contained.

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.