By Andrew Christiansen

Ignoring fire and life danger, arsonists strike at least four places in and near Goldendale



FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE: Firefighters made this burnout along the 255 Road Sunday on the edge of the Cougar Creek Fire. That fire has reached 54,000 acres and as of yesterday was reported to be 60 percent contained.

One might think that with all the fires burning in the Northwest and locally, there would be a great deal of sensitivity about and care to avoid fires. But recent action by the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) and Goldendale Police proves there are some people who haven't gotten the message that fires have a cost, and sometimes it costs lives.

A fire was likely set near Box Canyon Road on Aug. 22. DNR is investigating the fire and KCSO is also investigating as a woman became victimized by a pair of young men who used the fire as an excuse to enter her home and steal her jewelry. The men were described as late teens or 20s and driving a black or blue sedan. Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office.

About a week earlier KCSO investigated a fire at Jenkins Creek Road, off SR97. A fire was deliberately set and fortunately quickly suppressed by Rural 7 fire department. According to Chief Deputy Mike Kallio, the investigation revealed that a teenage boy forced a girl at knife point to start the fire. KCSO referred the case to the County Prosecutor with suggested charges of second degree arson and second degree assault.

DNR is also investigating a fire that started in the area of England Drive, which is north of Woodland Road, off Old Stage Road. The fire started early in the morning last week, under suspicious circumstances. A large response by Rural 7 quickly brought the fire under control.

A grass fire was started around 4:40 a.m. on Monday morning on the 300 block of NW 2nd Street, in Goldendale. Police say fireworks started the fire, which burned a small area before it was extinguished by the Goldendale Fire Department. Three young people were seen leaving the area.

This is not the first fire started by someone using fireworks. Earlier there was a fire started by fireworks thrown into a dumpster.

According to sources, it is believed that the fires that burned the Maryhill grade, a home, and outbuildings were started by someone throwing fireworks out of a vehicle from SR97. Anyone with information about these fires is asked to contact authorities.


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