KENNEWICK, WA - A local teenager is recovering after she was badly burned at a weekend bonfire in the hills south of Kennewick.
The Benton County Sheriff's office tells us that someone at this bonfire party threw some type of an aerosol canister into the fire. It exploded and burning debris hit the girl. This all happened hidden in the canyons near Jump Off Joe south of Kennewick. Benton County fire officials tell us these types of bonfire parties happen more often as the weather gets colder and people try to warm up. But they can be dangerous as in this case. Officials believe the canister was used as an accelerant to make the fire bigger.
"Never ever use accelerants when lighting a warming fire," explained Deputy Fire Chief Mike Harris from Benton County Fire District 1. "When you throw an aerosol can in any type of fire it's going to burst under pressure and create a large fireball."
You can prevent your controlled fire from getting out of control.
-First, get a permit. Outdoor recreational fires that are over two feet high require a permit.
-The only acceptable fuels for these fires are charcoal or firewood.
-Always have a way of extinguishing the fire whether with a water hose, bucket or a shovel for dirt.
Fire officials say if you follow these basic rules, incidents like the one from this weekend can likely be avoided.