White Swan fire ruled accidental

Yakima, Washington (AP) February 2011

A fire that destroyed 18 homes in a rural section of the Yakama Indian Reservation has been ruled accidental.

Deputy county fire marshal Ron Rutherford told the Yakima Herald-Republic that his office found no negligence occurred when a house chimney fire spread across an open field to a nearby wood-chipping operation and to other homes in White Swan.

Rutherford said the blaze would have been “a roof fire” had 40 mph winds not pushed it through the neighborhood. He called it a weather-driven event and discounted rumors that a separate brush fire southwest of White Swan led to the blaze.

The fire left an estimated 120 people homeless. Yakama Nation officials earlier this week said it would cost an estimated $4 million to rebuild homes.




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