A burning jeep is to blame for a massive wildfire in the Juniper Dunes area.
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The vehicle was off-roading in an approved area where it caught fire. Franklin County Fire District #3 was called out to battle the wildlife fire at about 3:45 pm on Wednesday.
The fire spread into the wilderness where firefighters weren't able to bring in heavy equipment. Crop dusting planes were used instead. The planes duped water while firefighters dug firebreaks. Fire crews are continuing to monitor the area.
From the Franklin County Fire District #3 Facebook page:
If you are going to be off-roading please know the grasses/brush are ready to burn and can ignite easily. The Bureau of Land Management (manages Juniper Dunes) has enacted Fire Restrictions on outdoor activities. If you are off-roading you need to carry a fire extinguisher or a shovel. A shovel or fire extinguisher may have extinguished the fire. Please do not park or stop your vehicle on any brush or grass, keep to established trails. The weather will only become hotter and drier going forward, which will make these fires harder to control. Please off-road safely and responsibly.
The Juniper Dunes Wilderness area is north of Pasco in Franklin County.
Franklin County Fire District #3 was being assisted by Walla Walla County District #5, Benton County Fire District #1, and US Fish and Wildlife.
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