Blaze destroys large hay barn in Ridgefield

Ken Vance
Ken Vance

RIDGEFIELD — Crews were still on the scene Wednesday afternoon at a fire that destroyed a large barn at a residence located at 23117 NW Hillhurst Rd. in Ridgefield.

“Your readers are going to still see smoke coming up,’’ Clark County Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Dawdy told ClarkCountyToday.com. “But, crews are at the scene and the fire is under control.’’

Crews were still on the scene Wednesday afternoon at a fire that destroyed a large barn at a residence located at 23117 NW Hillhurst Rd. in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz
Crews were still on the scene Wednesday afternoon at a fire that destroyed a large barn at a residence located at 23117 NW Hillhurst Rd. in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz

Dawdy said crews from Clark County Fire and Rescue were called at 2:09 a.m. Wednesday. By the time they arrived at the scene, the large barn was already engulfed by the fire.

“When we arrived, the barn was well involved with heavy fire and there was heavy smoke coming out,’’ Dawdy said.

Dawdy said the two-story barn was approximately 80-feet by 150-feet and was filled with about 120 tons of hay according to owner Bill Kennedy.

“It is a very big complex with barns, out buildings and houses,’’ Dawdy said of the 8-acre property. “To the west, there was a barn with about 40 cows in it surrounded by other barns and residences.’’

Clark County Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Dawdy said crews were called at 2:09 a.m. Wednesday to the scene of a blaze in Ridgefield. By the time they arrived at the scene, the large barn was already engulfed by the fire. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Dawdy said crews were called at 2:09 a.m. Wednesday to the scene of a blaze in Ridgefield. By the time they arrived at the scene, the large barn was already engulfed by the fire. Photo by Mike Schultz
Firefighters at the scene of a Ridgefield barn fire adopted a strategy to contain the fire to the building of origin. Within 45 minutes, Clark County Fire and Rescue crews had done just that but a second alarm was called for and crews responded from Clark County Fire District 3, Clark County Fire District 6, the Vancouver Fire Department and Cowlitz County Fire District 1. Photo by Mike Schultz
Firefighters at the scene of a Ridgefield barn fire adopted a strategy to contain the fire to the building of origin. Within 45 minutes, Clark County Fire and Rescue crews had done just that but a second alarm was called for and crews responded from Clark County Fire District 3, Clark County Fire District 6, the Vancouver Fire Department and Cowlitz County Fire District 1. Photo by Mike Schultz

Dawdy said the firefighters adopted a strategy to contain the fire to the building of origin. Within 45 minutes, Clark County Fire and Rescue crews had done just that but that a second alarm was called for and crews responded from Clark County Fire District 3, Clark County Fire District 6, the Vancouver Fire Department and Cowlitz County Fire District 1.

“In order to achieve the fire flow with such a large commercial building, we had to have six water tenders on hand,’’ Dawdy said.

The firefighters’ efforts were also made more difficult by the fact that there were no fire hydrants in the area near the fire. The nearest hydrant was located at Ridgefield High School and crews “ran a shuttle’’ to service their efforts at the scene of the fire.

Dawdy said crews were removing all the hay from the building with excavators and manually sorting out every piece to completely extinguish the fire.

“It’s a pretty big job,’’ Dawdy said.

Dawdy indicated the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire.

“We don’t have a cause of fire yet,’’ Dawdy said.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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