Hanford Fire Burns 72,000 Acres - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Fire Burns 72,000 Acres

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BENTON COUNTY, Wash.  - The fire that started yesterday afternoon has burned over 72- thousand acres.

The Fire continues to burn in the areas of the Hanford site, the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve and areas around Benton County.

The fire is now 60 percent contained.  The fire started around one o-clock yesterday afternoon near Wautoma road just off Highway 241.

Right now over 200 firefighters are on scene this morning.

"We have a lot of firefighters on the scene including men and women from Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Grant and Yakima Counties.  We have gone State Mobilization which means we have teams from all over the state coming in that will take over today,"  Says Steve Sautter with the Emergency Operations Center. 

DOE officials say the Hanford site is closed North of the Wye Barricade.   Only essential personnel are to work today.   Workers South of the barricade are on a regular work schedule.   The Wye Barricade is open but the Yakima and Rattle Snake barricades remain closed.

State Route 240 is now open both ways.  It was closed yesterday because of fire dangers.