After a massive fire that swept through the popular hiking and bird-watching area, Richland officials closed Bateman Island last September. The island is located near the Richland "Y" area, just off Columbia Park Trail (Paul Parrish Drive) and  Highway 240.

City of Richland says island is now open

Last September, a fire burned at least 7 acres of the Island, which is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The origins of the fire were suspected to be from a homeless camp. Several other fires in the Yakima River Delta area that were battled over the last 12 months were directly linked to homeless activity.

The fire scorched a significant area, and created hazardous conditions for walkers, due to a lot of unstable burned trees that were believed to be ready to fall or collapse.

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Following the containment of the fire on September 6th, Richland City and Fire officials said it would remain closed until further notice.

Tuesday, December 19th, the City released this information:

"Bateman Island has reopened to the public after a fire in September scorched approximately 6 acres. All hazards have been removed and the island is safe to access."

All previous regulations still apply to the area, no fires or motorized vehicles, or use of any equipment or items that could damage the environment or cause a fire.


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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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