More Crews Needed for Growing Columbia Complex Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Crews Needed for Growing Columbia Complex Fire

DAYTON, Wash.- The Columbia Complex fire is still growing, but it is now 40% contained.

More than 1,600 firefighters are now on the scene, but officials said they still need more crews and air support.

The blaze has grown to more than 93,000 acres, and fighting it has already cost taxpayers more than $16 million dollars.

Fire officials have now set up a second command post near the eastern firelines.

Four more structures are now reported destroyed, which brings the total to 19, and burn conditions remain extremely bad.

"The fuel moistures remain at historic low levels. So even with slightly higher, um, lower temperatures and higher humidity the forest is extremely dry and able to carry fire," said fire spokesman Craig McCaa. 

Crews are still working to create new firelines, hoping for increased containment.

Local authorities are trying to tell people that the surrounding communities of Dayton, Waitsburg and Pomeroy are still open for business.

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