Officials investigate U.S. 97 fires

— Klickitat County and Yakama Nation officials are investigating a number of grass fires on U.S. Highway 97.

Just before 5:30 Monday night, Klickitat County emergency services began receiving 9-1-1 calls from travelers, reporting grass fires from Milepost 20 to 44, north of the county line.

Firefighters were dispatched, extinguishing more than 20 spot fires, Klickitat County Emergency Management officials said in a press release.

Director Jeff King said there was a fire near Maryhill that spanned about 2 acres.

That fire was reported at 5:45 p.m., he said.

Heavy smoke caused low visibility on the highway, which was temporarily closed, officials said.

Firefighters from three departments contained the blaze near Maryhill, officials said.

No structures were threatened and the fire was contained by 9 p.m., officials said.

“There were also fires on the Yakima County side,” King said.

Yakima County Fire District No. 5 said officials with Yakama Nation were responsible for battling those fires.

Officials from the tribe did not return calls before press time.

Anyone with information about the fires is urged to call Klickitat County at 509-773-4545.


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