(Bridgeport, WA) On Wednesday, August 1st, at 12:30 PM a brush fire was reported in the area Crane Orchard Rd. near Brewster (Douglas County side of the Columbia River). The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office delivered four evacuation notices to residences but no homes have been lost.
Deputies conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire and found it was likely caused by workers attempting to burn weeds at an organic orchard. Statements and evidence gathered by Deputies and a Department of Natural Resources investigator indicate that an orchard worker was burning weeds in between rows of fruit trees. Apparently they had taken precautions by watering the orchard, but the fire had spread to dry grass.
A burn ban is in effect in Douglas County and there is no evidence showing the orchard had a permit to burn. The case will be sent to the prosecuting attorney’s office to determine if the weed burning fell within exceptions to the burn ban. As of 10:00 AM on 08/04/12 the fire is 80% contained and multiple fire districts continue to fight the blaze.