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Tuesday, July 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Weekend wildfires burn at Hanford site

UPDATED: Mon., June 1, 2020

Lightning storms last weekend sparked several wildfires on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation including one that spread across 9,000 acres.

One of the largest fires was at Gable Mountain in the center of Hanford, the Tri-City Herald first reported.

The mountain is considered both a biological and tribal sensitive area, where workers are not allowed without authorization.

“The winds and the terrain caused a little bit of an issue getting it contained,” said Renee Brooks from Mission Support Alliance, the Department of Energy Contractor in charge of fire services at the site.

The fire was contained at about 8 p.m. Sunday night and did not go near any buildings or nuclear sites, Brooks said.

However, the Hanford Fire Department planned to remain on scene through Monday afternoon to watch for hot spots.

Plutonium for the United States’ nuclear weapons program was produced at the 580-square-mile site. Environmental cleanup of radioactive chemicals is expected to continue for decades.

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