Three wildfires scorch lands in WW County

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WALLA WALLA -- Three wildfires scorched several thousand acres in Walla Walla County on Wednesday.

The first blaze was reported at 11:47 a.m. in the vicinity of Harvey Shaw and Sudbury roads and the second was spotted at 12:31 p.m. in the vicinity of Woodward Canyon and Nelms roads.

The third fire in the vicinity of Frenchtown Road was reported at 4:02 p.m., according to fire officials.

The first fire forced the intersection at Harvey Shaw and State Route 124 to be blocked off at one point.

The Harvey Shaw Road fire covered an estimated 600-900 acres, said Brian Jones, assistant chief for Fire District 4. The fire burned Conservation Reserve Program lands and wheat stubble and was reported out about 3:17 p.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters from Fire District 7 were the initial responders and they were aided by firefighters from fire districts 3, 4, 5 and 6 as well as four tractors with disc harrows brought in by private landowners.

The initial responders to the Woodward Canyon fire were Fire District 8 firefighters and additional aid was later called from fire districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and the cities of College Place and Walla Walla. Additional aid was provided by a strike team from Benton-Franklin County, two bulldozers from Benton County and a private owner and water tenders from Wilbur-Ellis and the McGregor Company.

The fire covered about 6,000 acres and was contained about 5:45 p.m., Jones said. The causes of both fires were unknown at this time.

The Frenchtown Road fire was started by a mower and covered about 3-5 acres of wheat stubble and straw bales. It was extinguished by firefighters from Fire District 4.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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