Yakima firefighters responded to reports of heavy black smoke and fire at the old Yakima Resources mill site early Wednesday, July 21.
On arrival, they found a 600'x150' building fully involved, with an identical structure beginning to ignite along the roofline. As firefighters positioned apparatus, there were numerous explosions of welding cylinders, along with live power lines falling around them.
Second and third alarms were immediately called, as well as off duty personnel from YFD.
Firefighters, hampered by lack of water pressure and hydrants, had to rely on tenders from neighboring communities for much of their water supply. High winds also hampered their efforts, blowing pieces of burning debris up to a mile away, as roving fire crews patrolled downwind for hot spots and neighbors manned their garden hoses to protect their homes.
The fire was deemed under control after almost five hours of tense action by two aerials, multiple engines and several tenders, but it may take several days to fully extinguish. The cause is still undetermined with losses expected over $1 million. The ATF was called to assist with the investigation.