background_fid.jpg
Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Disasters and Accidents

Blue Creek Fire A 'Battlefield' Of Human Vs. Nature

072315AK_battleZone.jpg
Anna King
/
Northwest News Network
Smoke rises on day four of the 5,580-acre Blue Creek fire eight miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, on July 23, 2015.

Even with 1,000 firefighters attacking it, the Blue Creek Fire eight miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to 5,500 acres since Monday.

The conditions are extremely dry and the blond-colored grass on Klicker Mountain is just a lot of small, ready fuel for the fire to burn through. Huge swaths of hillsides are blackened where the fire has been. But there are small pockets of green trees that have escaped.

It's kind of a battlefield. Airplanes and helicopters are zooming overhead, going back and forth to the fire to drop water and retardant.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said the season has not been as bad as they predicted in the region that spans west from Montana. But the Blue Creek fire remains their top priority as it has grown and is only 5 percent contained.