Bateman Island Fire Bill Approaching $100K
Because the island is within the Richland city limits, the bill for the biggest fire on the island in nearly 20 years will be paid by the city.
Not only have Richland fire crews had to work hard, but other crews from the Department of Corrections, and a private company called Tri-City Forestry have been brought in. These and other crews have been helping to suppress the flames, the hot spots and clear out potential material that could ignite.
Officials say, according to KNDU-TV, the crews are also having to try to preserve as much of the habitat as they can, and also keep in mind ancient Indian burial grounds on the island. This has made the job even more difficult.
Even now, officials say there are still a few hot spots that are being put out. Animals are already being seen on the island again, but the 106 plus acre fire zone is not safe for people. KNDU-TV says fire officials told them if you step in a hot spot, you could sink in and end up with burns up above your knee.
Trees will have to be taken down that were burned out, and other hazardous burned materials removed. It's likely the island will be closed for months at least.