Webber Canyon Road Fire could be sign of another bad fire season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Webber Canyon Road Fire could be sign of another bad fire season to come

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BENTON COUNTY, WA. -- Our first big wildfire of the season is contained, but firefighters say this fire should be a warning to everyone in Eastern Washington, as we could be headed toward another bad fire season.

The Fire Chief for Benton County Fire District 1 tells us an initial investigation indicates a Benton County Roads Department crew started the Webber Canyon Road Fire when they were burning off some tumbleweeds. 

The fire is contained now after burning 504 acres. The location of the fire posed a major challenge to the 70 firefighters trying to put it out. Crews called in a helicopter to attack the flames from above. 

Firefighters were surprised with how quickly the fire spread, but that's a sign that our brush is already very dry and ready to burn. We talked to firefighter Ben Shearer with the Pasco Fire Department about this early start to fire season. 

"Sometimes summers like this happen where the wildfires start earlier," Shearer said. "It's already hot, it's already drying out, the winds we've had lately around here with the hot weather. the fuels are already dry. We had a really nice wet spring, the grasses are already tall. And now they're drying out and it just doesn't take anything for a little fire to become a big fire quickly."

You could even hear the wind that he's talking about blowing on my mic. Shearer said make sure if you BBQ this summer, that you do so safely and in an approved area.

As always, make sure to remove shrubbery from around your home and cut back that dry brush.