July 14, 2008

Firefighters Battle Mount Adams Blaze

Firefighters Monday were battling a 500-acre wildfire that spread quickly in a national forest near Washington state's Mount Adams, officials said.

A 35-member special response team responded Sunday when the fire, which started out as 30-acre blaze, overpowered local crews who had been trying to contain it, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

In all, 160 firefighters were working on the fire at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington along the western slopes of the Cascade Range, said Paul Ries, spokesman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

They'll establish a base camp and try to bring all of the necessary resources to the fire, he told the newspaper. But there's still a good chance this fire's going to burn for the next couple of days.

Ries said officials think the fire was started last week by a lightning strike and smoldered until Sunday's hot, dry and windy conditions set it loose.