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From The Fire Front: Walla Walla's Watershed, Homes In Jeopardy

Firefighters on the Blue Creek Fire burning just outside of Walla Walla are intensifying their fight to hold a line and keep the wildfire out of a watershed and residential area. Correspondent Anna King describes the scene:

In a red government pickup we crawled up a steep grade called Klicker Mountain Road.

It’s barely wide enough in some places for vehicles to inch by each other. At the top of this burned-over ridge in the Blue Mountains, top wildfire managers with tense faces held tightly to their radios and binoculars. They were closely watching the front of the active fire and called out spot fires and fast defense decisions into their radios.

But in the brief time that I was allowed to stay with them, the fire kept moving. A wide swath of hillside was blackened in an hour. Trees torched. And spot fires in tough terrain kept popping up both in the burn and in front of it.

The fire is moving toward Walla Walla’s Mill Creek watershed and more than 100 homes and cabins. And the wind is picking up.

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.