Range 12 fire 90% contained, 176,600 acres of Yakima, Benton counties scorched.
Firefighters gained more ground Wednesday on the Range 12 Fire burning across Yakima and Benton counties, bringing containment to 90 percent on the 176,600-acre wildland blaze.
Firefighters were primarily patrolling for hot spots, but few major heat signatures were found within the 117-mile perimeter around the fire, said incident spokesman Randall Rishe.
Firefighters have said they hope to fully contain the fire, which started Saturday, by today. Weather conditions were expected to be generally favorable to firefighters, with light winds expected tonight.
The fire started Sunday on the Yakima Training Center, jumped State Route 24 to the south and quickly ballooned in size. Weather conditions have eased since then.
About 180 firefighters remained assigned to the fire on Wednesday, down from a peak of slightly more than 400. More firefighters will be released as appropriate.
Rishe said incident managers are beginning work on plans to stabilize and rehabilitate sensitive areas within the fire perimeter. Some of the fire zone is home to the sage grouse, which federal and military agencies are responsible for protecting.
On the 75-acre Halfway forest fire burning on the Naches Ranger District, containment remained at 40 percent Wednesday night.
Firefighters are struggling to find easy access to the northwest corner of the fire because of a rocky cliff in that area.
The fire has not grown significantly since being reported Sunday, however, and natural boundaries on other sides of the fire are expected to prevent major spreading. The fire is about three-quarters of a mile from Cliffdell on the other side of the Naches River and about 35 miles west of Yakima.
Evacuation orders remain in effect until containment is increased.
Besides several ground teams, one helicopter is committed to the fire.
Incident spokesman Randy Shepard said crews may not be able to contain the fire until this weekend.
Incident Command: Kiona Benton High School, Benton City WA
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