Burning wind turbine causes wildfire in Klickitat Co. near Bickleton
BICKLETON, Wash. — UPDATE: (7:00 A.M.) Fire officials announced Tuesday morning that the Juniper Fire is 80% contained and has grown to 253 acres burned due to some flare ups they had while fighting the fire.
There is around 200 people working to get the fire put out and with the progress that they have made some crews are starting to be demobilized.
The incident commander says their biggest concern now is the fire weather watch that the National Weather Service has issued for Tuesday.
The Pine Creek Drainage area remains under a level 1 evacuation order.
UPDATE (10:12 a.m.) As of Monday morning the Juniper Fire is 30% contained. The PIO at incident command is reporting that 242 acres have burnt.
The reason for the reduction is acreage from the original estimate is in previous reports in due to more accurate mapping from crews on the ground.
A level 3 evacuation order remains in place for the Pine Creek Drainage area.
Crews are continuing to get the fire put out but are concerned with the winds that could pick up.
State resources have been called out to help contain the Juniper Fire near Bickleton, about 30 miles from the Benton County line.
The fire sparked on July 20 around 2:00 p.m. According to Klickitat County officials, black smoke was seen from the generator of a wind turbine in a rural part of the county. For unknown reasons, a fire ignited causing melted sections of the turbine to fall to the ground.
It started to burn in grass, sagebrush and timber. Gusty winds caused the fire to spread quickly. As of Sunday morning, the Pine Creek Drainage area is under a level three evacuation, which means get out now.
It has grown to 500 acres with 20% containment. Around 120 firefighters are working to keep the flames at bay. On Saturday afternoon, Klickitat Fire District #2 was able to contain the fire to the drainage area.
On Sunday, they plan to aggressively work on burning areas. No residential homes have been damaged.