3,600-acre fire threatens homes south of Mabton

NEAR MABTON, Wash.-- A fire that started just miles from Mabton is now being called the Dead Canyon Fire. Limited resources prompted the need for state support.

"First thing we want to do is protect property and lives of course," Ron Raschko said.

Ron Raschko is the Glade fire chief, but one of the properties he wants to protect is his own. As the fire traveled outside Mabton, homes were at risk, including Chief Raschko's. The Dead Canyon fire started Tuesday afternoon but had blown up in a matter of hours.

The speed of the fire is what worried officials the most. It started next to the roadway and within hours it traveled miles all the way to Klickitat County.

"It burned across five or six miles fairly quickly and then it was in Klickitat County," Raschko said.

At one point, the Chief's home was less than a mile from the fire.

"Well you don't want to lose property, that's true and there is that worry," he said.

He knew his job was to fight the fire and leave everything else behind.

"I wouldn't be doing my job if I was just looking out the window and seeing a fire," Raschko said.

His fire district is just 12 volunteers. After exhausting their resources, state support was called in late Tuesday night. This allowed crews from the Tri-Cities all the way to Kittitas County to rush in and help out.

"When you're out there and you're doing your job, you don't have time to worry," he said. "Time to do your job."

Firefighters hope to have the Dead Canyon fire contained by Thursday evening. At last check, the Dead Canyon fire was 45% contained. Only two homes are threatened at the moment, but that number could climb. No evacuation orders are in effect.