Wind stirs up trouble for firefighters struggling to contain bru - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wind stirs up trouble for firefighters struggling to contain brush fire

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BENTON COUNTY, WA - Winds created havoc for Benton County crews today as a brush fire started along the hillside off Goose Gap Road in Badger Canyon.

Four homes were evacuated as a precaution, and as of 2:30 the fire was burning between 30 and 40 acres. No structures have been burned. Fire officials say a residential burn from yesterday may have started the fire, stoked by the high winds.

And those high winds have given fire crews an extra obstacle to work around all day today with not just high winds but swirling winds.

"We're getting swirling winds, so the direction is changing, access point is difficult," said Tracy Baker with Benton County Fire District #1. "You can see up on the ridge the rocky terrain, but it's changing direction so it's one way and then it catches with the brush and it makes a run."

Badger Canyon is known as a windy area, but these gusts not only make firefighting efforts more difficult; fire crews say its probably why the fire spread in the first place.

"The wind is probably what has kicked it up and is keeping it stoked right now," Baker said.

The bright side, Baker says, is that it's not July or August when the extreme dryness and heat combined with the wind make fighting fires like this even tougher.

"Luckily, we're in October and it's cooler weathers, so we're having success right now."

Taking the little victories when they can get them as they fight fire and wind.

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