A 1,000-acre brush fire sparked by lightning destroyed one home near here Monday and threatened some 20 others, officials said.
No one was reported injured, and no evacuations were ordered, said Deanna Putnam of the Benton County Department of Emergency Management.
In addition to the one home, the blaze burned down six outbuildings, Putnam said.
The fire, which was burning on private land about five miles west of this southeast Washington town, began when lightning ignited sagebrush Monday afternoon on the south side of Rattlesnake Mountain, said Roger Hieb, a supervisor at the State Emergency Operations Center in Olympia. The mountain is about 10 miles northwest of Richland.
About 150 firefighters from Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla counties were battling the fire, Hieb said. Support from outside jurisdictions was authorized under the state Fire Services Mobilization Plan.
The blaze was being pushed by winds that moved northeasterly at 20-25 mph.
Benton County commissioners declared an emergency because of the fire.
To aid firefighters, authorities closed Old Inland Empire Highway, a county road along the north bank of the Yakima River that is to the south of the blaze.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.