Glade fire lies down

Bigger blaze burns Horse Heaven Hills

Flames explode over Horse Heaven Hills at the junction to turn to Alderdale or continue to Mabton.

Special to The Daily Sun
Flames explode over Horse Heaven Hills at the junction to turn to Alderdale or continue to Mabton.



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Fire and smoke billows high into the sky late Monday evening as the Glade III Fire continued to grow.

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Clark County and Wahkiakum fire crews look for hotspots along Glade Road yesterday afternoon.

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Fire crews wait alongside Glade Road as a utility pole is brought in to replace one that burned.

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A utility worker looks over the area where fire downed a power pole late Sunday night or early yesterday.

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The highway connecting Bickleton and Mabton remained closed yesterday; traffic was detoured toward Alderdale.

— If you don’t know Glade, you probably will after this fire season. There have been three wildfires in the area already.

Just one week after a 58-acre wildfire, Glade was hit Sunday with another, much bigger blaze

The Glade III Fire burned more than 10,000 acres in about 12 hours, according to Guy Gifford of the Department of Natural Resources.

Crews were still mopping up hotspots Monday at noon.

“We have it 20 percent contained,” Gifford said. “It should be 100 percent tomorrow.”

That said, fire activity was minimal yesterday afternoon as utility crews also repaired damaged telephone lines and power poles.

Gifford took command of the firefighting operation at 6 a.m. Monday as part of a state mobilization.

He said there were 191 people at work. There were 29 fire engines, three tenders and three hand crews.

Former Mabton police officer Mike Britton went up and “over the top” for a look-see and thought the firefighters were doing even better than Gifford said.

The fire started on the north slope of the Horse Heaven Hills at about 3:15 p.m., officials said.

Boundary Road resident Karen Zackula saw the fire at 4:10 p.m.

At about 5 p.m., it started to threaten her home.

Karen and her husband, Max Zackula, put two dogs and a cat in their travel trailer (hitched to a pickup), packed some food and other necessities and evacuated to a spot closer to Mabton.

“We were still within viewing distance with binoculars,” Zackula said.

Ironically, the Zackulas had returned home at about 3 p.m. from a weekend at Rimrock Lake.

They had unpacked the trailer and put things away.

“I was nervous until we got the animals ready to go. Then I was scared,” Karen said.

Max intimated to Karen that the fire scared the hell out of him.

Just a week earlier, the Zackula’s had been giddy over the fire that went away from their home and never threatened.

The fire probably didn’t really have a chance to raze the house.

There is a green lawn all around, and a neighbor disked around the yard.

Karen said other farmers did the same for other home owners.

The fire started in Yakima County Fire District No. 7, which requested multiple mutual aid units. Apparatus and personal responded from Yakima County Fire District No. 5, as well as Klickitat and Benton Counties.

The wind-driven fire pushed over the ridge line and quickly spread down into lands protected by Yakama Nation Fire Management.

Throughout the incident several homes were threatened and evacuated.  Late Monday Glade road was closed, and the public was asked to stay out of the area.  

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources at the request of Fire Chief Rhon Raschko, Yakima County Fire District No. 7.

Crews responded from as far away as Clark County, Wahkiakum and Spokane.



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