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Firefighters trying to figure out who is starting fires along the Yakima Greenway

Firefighters trying to figure out who is starting fires along the Yakima Greenway.

YAKIMA, Wash.- Firefighters are looking for whoever is starting fires along the greenway after they put out the fifth along the path in recent months.

Jeff Pfaff with the Yakima Fire Department said natural brush fire in Yakima are not unheard of, but after so many along the greenway this summer he’s sure that someone is sparking these blazes.

"We haven't had a significant event like weather or we don't have power lines in the area so these are definitely suspicious in nature and somebody is out lighting these fires," he said.

While the fires have remained small in size, the area gives firefighters problems because of how narrow the path is and a lack of water options once they're there.

He also said these small fires take away resources from other emergency situations.

The piles of dry brush and trees that can light up and help fire spread quickly.

"These fires will continue to grow especially with the low relative humidity and breeze and even though it's starting to cool down this stuff will still burn," Pfaff said.

The greenway is a popular path for runners and bikers, but just off it, homeless people use them to set up camps and spend the night.

How to stop more of these fires from starting?

Kellie Connaughton with the Yakima Greenway Foundation that manages the path said they are working with local groups to help get those that may be homeless out of the area and into places they can stay legally.

"There are winter shelters for these folks to be in if they are in transition and we want to make sure their safety is a priority," she said.

Pfaff said if you do see something burning or anything suspicious, to not only call 911 immediately to let them know what's going on but stay in the area.

He says you can keep the firefighters updated as they are on their way and you can help them stop these fires from popping up.

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