WHITE PASS, Wash. – Fire officials are reminding people to observe closures in the area around the Miriam Fire after two hunters disrupted fire operations.
Two men were seen in the closed area firing rifles in the direction of firefighters, stopping firefighting operations in the ski area and forcing the evacuation of firefighters, officials said Thursday.
Washington State Patrol troopers found the men, who turned out to be hunters who were after a bear, Yakima County sheriff’s spokesman Casey Schilperoort said Friday. Troopers told the men to take the bear they had shot and leave the area, Schilperoort said.
A map showing closed areas is available online.
The fire, burning 2 miles east of the White Pass Ski area, grew slightly to 4,144 acres as a cold front brought cooler temperatures and higher winds. Firefighters made preparations to defend the White Pass ski lodges if the fire burns into that direction, while firefighting equipment is being removed from the camps that were evacuated in late July after the fire started.
The Clear Lake Fire is holding at 47 acres, but officials say it is slowly growing as burning debris rolls down the steep slopes. Firefighters are continuing to monitor it.
Firefighters expect to fully contain the lightning-sparked Miriam Fire by Sept. 30.
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