Schools and businesses nearly burned by 30 acre brush fire

Schools and businesses nearly burned by 30 acre brush fire

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Crews battled a brush fire Monday afternoon near Ahtanum Ridge. Smoke was sent billowing into the sky near Meadowbrook Rd. and Goodman Rd.

Fire officials estimate the fire was about 30 acres in size.

Crews told KIMA high winds are fanning the flames.

"I didn't think it would get this big, I really didn't," said La Salle High School employee, Amanda Campos.

Fire crews said a man on a quad with a cigarette likely sparked the fire. It quickly spread throughout the dry fields.

At one point, The Little Brown Smoke Shack and Macro Plastics were threatened by the fire.   Flames made their way on to La Salle property. Crews worried hot embers would catch the school on fire.

"It started out really small at first I thought it was a controlled farm fire and then it spread and it's really overwhelming," Amanda said.

All building were saved and no crews were injured. Over 21 units were called to the 3-alarm fire. An estimated 80 fire fighters battled it.

The red cross was on the scene assisting.
     
Union Gap Fire Chief Chris Jensen commanded the fire. He said this is the third or forth big fire in under a week, a bit unusual this early in the season.

"Whenever you're using fire you have to be really careful," Jensen said. "Fire can move quickly and away from you, into areas that you don't anticipate it and once they're unrestrained they turn into these large fires that take extended attacks to put them out.

As of Monday night, the fire was entirely contained. Crews will be on the scene into Tuesday morning to prevent any sparks.