A wildfire Sunday evening burned across 2,800 acres of the Hanford Site in Eastern Washington but reached no radiologically contaminated areas or structures before it was contained.
The fire, believed to have been ignited by a lightning strike, was discovered at about 6:45 p.m. after it had burned 5 acres. But windy weather caused it to grow quickly, said Rae Moss, spokeswoman for Mission Support Alliance, the services contractor that manages firefighting at the Hanford Site.
The Wye Barricade, the secure entrance to the site just north of Richland, was closed at 9:45 p.m. to aid firefighters attacking the blaze to the north of the barricade. It reopened at about midnight when the fire was under control.
The fire burned between Route 4 South and Route 2 South, which meet at a “V” just north of the Wye Barricade. Route 4 South goes to the 200 East Area, which includes 11 waste storage tank farms, the 242-A Evaporator, and the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility, where capsules of cesium and strontium are stored. The fire was stopped “well away” from the 200 East Area, Moss said.