The big news Saturday out of the wildfire in Grant County was the show at the Gorge wouldn’t be affected for all those Grateful Dead fans making it to this weekend’s concerts by Dead & Company.
The 20,380-acre fire was 85% contained, the damage was limited to three outbuildings and all evacuation levels had been dropped, said the incident command center. The 243 fire got its name because it was near Highway 243 and Wanapum Dam.
Most fire personnel have gone home, with a small team left to handle hot spots.
One such hot spot was dealt with Friday night, with the command center reassuringly tweeting out, “It is about 30 ft x 30 ft and we have engines and fire crews on site. The flare was well within the footprint of the fire. At night fire always look dramatic. Nothing to worry about.’
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. To put it in perspective, the fire encompassed an area of canyons and ridges about half the size of the Seattle city limits. Big depends on where you live.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office also sent out this reassuring tweet to concertgoers:
“Worried about the #243FIRE ruining your trip to @deadandcompany at the Gorge this weekend? Don’t be. The fire is 20 miles away. Smoke is currently not an issue and likely won’t be.”
Dead & Company features guitarist John Mayer filling in for Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist and vocalist for the Grateful Dead who died in 1995, along with original Grateful Dead members. They played Friday and Saturday.
Annel Ramirez, front desk supervisor at Cave B Inn and Spa Resort, about a one-minute drive from the Gorge parking lot, said Saturday afternoon, “It’s sunny and clear. You can see a little haze far out.”
Presumably from the wildfire.