DNR Preliminary Report Finds Human/Railroad Ops Likely Tunnel 5 Fire Cause

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has released a preliminary report indicating the cause of the Tunnel 5 Fire near Underwood in early July was most likely human and railroad operations related.  The preliminary findings of the cause of the fire is based on scene observations, witness statements, first responder accounts, and evidence collected on-scene.  Burlington Northern-Santa Fe was listed as the train company responsible for emitting “some object(s) which started fire” in three areas over a distance of approximately 690 feet.  The DNR report says with these emissions from the train, paired with dry vegetation and west winds, the Tunnel 5 fire began, burning over 500 acres and numerous homes in Eastern Skamania County.  The report from Department of Natural Resources is preliminary and the investigation is still on-going.

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