The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Local departments fight fires, assist with collision


August 2, 2018

Adams County first responders had a busy week responding to fires and an auto collision in the area.

On July 25, multiple Adams County Fire Protection Districts responded to a standing wheat fire south of Providence Road, near Foley and Marcellus roads.

Washtucna Acting Fire Chief Byron Allen said the department received the call at around noon. The department deployed five vehicles and 11 firefighters to the scene.

Allen noted Ritzville, Lind, and Benge fire departments assisted at the scene, as did the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. Several farmers also helped with combating the blaze.

He explained the fire burned about 75 acres of land, including 25 acres of standing wheat, as well as a tractor and a bank-out wagon.

He added the incident began after tractor caught on fire.

Allen said no injuries were reported, and crews were on scene for about three hours. He thanked the farmers and the fire departments the assistance in fighting the fire.

“If it weren’t for them, it would more be difficult for us,” Allen added.

Later in the day, ACFPD No. 1 responded to a one-vehicle injury collision on State Route 395 on Interstate 90 north of Ritzville.

A Washington State Patrol report states Ian Hatfield, 27, of Otis Orchards, was driving a Sierra pickup northbound on State Route 395. The vehicle turned left, and crossed both lanes, leaving the roadway and rolled down an embankment before it stopped.

County Fire Chief Scott Kembel said the department deployed a rescue vehicle and a brush truck with six firefighters to the scene.

Hatfield was transported to East Adams Rural Healthcare with injuries.

The WSP report listed fatigue as the cause of the collision, and Hatfield was charged with negligent driving and driving while license suspended in the second degree.

In the evening, Washtucna responded to a fire on the 200 block of South West Main Street in Washtucna at Sonny’s Tavern.

Allen said Washtucna received the call at around 11:45 p.m., and deployed three trucks and 12 firefighters to the scene.

ACFPD No. 1 arrived on the scene to assist the Washtucna crew with equipment. Kembel said Ritzville sent two trucks and four firefighters to the fire.

Allen noted the building sustained smoke and water damage, and the fire was caused by an electrical spark in the basement. He added crews were on scene for about three hours.


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