Storms bring fire, rain to area

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WALLA WALLA — Early-morning thunderstorms sparked a fast-moving brush fire and brought the first rainfall in more than a month today.

The fire was reported about 1:45 a.m. west of Clyde in the Wooden Road near the Snake River, said Jim Duncan, Walla Walla County Emergency Management director. The location is also known as the Walker Pit area.

The blaze had grown to about 100 acres by the time the first firefighters arrived, Duncan said. It was burning in Conservation Reserve Program lands and eventually covered between 400-500 acres before being reported under control about 6 a.m. today.

Firefighers from Fire Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8, College Place Fire Department and Columbia County Fire District 3 and were called out to fight the blaze, Duncan said. Firefighters had been alerted Monday night to be prepared because the potential for lightning combined with dried-out vegetation made conditions “ripe for a very bad wildfire,” he said.

Showers that accompanied the lightning brought a hundredth of an inch of rain as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport. It was the first measurable rainfall since July 17, according to National Weather Service records.

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

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