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Smoke From Silver Dollar Fire Sends Hanford Workers Home

Roger Harnack
The Silver Dollar fire is burning 20,000 acres near the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington state.

The estimated size of the Silver Dollar wildfire has grown in southeast Washington state Monday. More than 20,000 acres were burning near the Hanford nuclear site. The fire is 30 percent contained.

On Monday morning, the smoke was so thick, Hanford workers were told to stay away due to lack of visibility from smoke in the air.  

Jacob Welsh, federal spokesman for agencies managing the fire, said it’s burning through grass and brush.  

“We have approximately 400 personnel working on the wildfire.,” he said. “Many of these resources have worked all night in an effort to put a containment line around the fire.”  

Welsh said the Silver Dollar fire could threaten ranches and homes depending on how the wind blows.

While no buildings have been lost or damaged, the wildfire threatens structures, power infrastructure, and Sage Grouse habitat.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire which started Sunday night.