Walla Walla County fire has now grown to 10,000 acres

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Fire burns through the wind turbine toped hills around Hatch Grade Sunday afternoon.

WALLULA - A blaze that started Sunday in southwestern Walla Walla County has now grown to 10,000 acres, state officials said today.

Washington State Patrol Deputy Chief David Karnitz authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources this morning at the request of the Walla Walla County Fire Dist. 4. The fire, which was initially called the Hatch Grade Fire, has been renamed the Van Sycle Canyon Fire.

In a release, Karnitz said the fire is not threatening any residences and no evacuation is contemplated at this time. Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered 13 wildland engines, two water tenders and one dozer, he said. In addition a Type 3 Incident Management Team and two 20-person handcrews have been brought in to supplement local firefighters already on the scene.

The fire started at about 3 p.m. Sunday and has been burning in sagebrush and Conservation Resource Program lands. The cause of the fire is thought to be human-related, Karnitz said.

Harvey Crowder, acting Walla Walla County Emergency Management director, said a command post has been set up at the Fire District 5 substation in the Wallula townsite. The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray has been activated to coordinate state assistance for the fire and personnel from the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be on scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

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