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Fires burn across Eastern Washington, one toward Hanford nuclear site via the Tri-City Herald

A large wildfire was burning toward the Hanford nuclear reservation Sunday after spreading from Grant and Yakima counties into Benton County overnight Saturday.

It was one of at least five wildfires burning Sunday in eastern Washington and Oregon, including a 1,000-acre fire that had residents evacuating a rural area near Prosser Sunday evening.

The larger Benton County fire burning toward Hanford, called the Range 12 Fire, was estimated to have burned 60,000 acres or about 94 square miles by early Sunday evening.

Sunday afternoon it was spreading across an unpopulated area between Highways 240 and 241, according to Benton County Emergency Services.

Firefighters were working to stop the fire before it reached the large wildland security zone maintained around the contaminated portion of the nuclear reservation. The security zone, which includes the peak of Rattlesnake Mountain, is part of the Hanford Reach National Monument.

“We are going to do everything in our power to hold it,” said Randall Rishe, of the Bureau of Land Management.

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