Volunteers battling canyon fire along lower Snake River

Volunteers from several Whitman County rural fire departments are battling a canyon fire along the lower Snake River west of Uniontown.

Whitman County Fire District 14 volunteers out of Colton Uniontown were called to the wildfire in Nisqually John Canyon around 12:30 Thursday afternoon.

The fire began at the bottom of the canyon just off Wawawai Road and quickly spread up the canyon walls pushed by gusty winds. The steep terrain has prevented volunteers from getting to most of the fire. The fire has burned at least 50 acres but is likely much larger.

Officials are seeking a Washington state mobilization requesting critical air support to attack the inaccessible areas of the fire.

Flames are burning in the Nisqually John Canyon Habitat Unit which is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

No structures are threatened. There is no word on what sparked the blaze but District 14 Chief John Dahmen believes it was likely human caused. There was no lighting in the area Wednesday and there is no power in the canyon. Chief Dahmen says there were shell casings and discharged fireworks found near where the blaze started.

The fire is not effecting any other recreational areas on the lower Snake River. The blaze is burning between Nisqually John and Blyton landings near milepost 25 on Wawawai road.

The road remains open.