Firefighters Making Progress on Columbia Complex Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Firefighters Making Progress on Columbia Complex Fire

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DAYTON, Wash.- The Columbia Complex fire remained zero percent contained Friday, but crews were finally setting firelines on the perimeter.

One of the biggest factors helping them is that the winds have calmed. 

The fire is still estimated at 66,060 acres, and officials have combined all the fires in the area into one.

Cooler temperatures and lower winds are finally allowing hand crews to set firelines, slowing the fire's progress, and they hope to have new containment numbers this evening.

Helicopters are also dropping fire retardant on hotspots while crews work to get potential fuels out of the fireline.

Getting flashing fuels out of the area while allowing the fire to burn down to streams and roads is giving firefighters added confidence they will get it under control, said mark morrow, a representative with the department of natural resources.

Farm roads are acting as natural firebreaks, allowing firefighters to concentrate on those hard to get to areas.

They expect winds to stay low throughout Friday night, which should help them slow the fire even more.

They have also brought in a special DC-10 from California to drop retardant on the fire, but smoke prevented them from using it Friday.

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