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Fire caused by tossed cigarette threatens WSU and USDA

Fire investigator Darren Jones, of WSU Fire Safety, said a freshly tossed cigarette that was found near the signal lights caused the fire.
Credit: KREM

PULLMAN, Wash. — A discarded cigarette near Pullman threatened the Washington State University campus and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pullman firefighters and Whitman County District 12 were called out to the intersection of Terre View Drive and Highway 270 around Noon on Saturday.

Fire investigator Darren Jones, of WSU Fire Safety, said a freshly tossed cigarette that was found near the signal lights caused the fire. The cigarette was tossed by a motorist.

The wildland fire had burned a quarter of an acre and at the time was being impacted by the wind which carried embers 30 to 40 feet and ignited a larger fire than where the cigarette was located.

Firefighters battled the fire near where the USDA Agriculture research buildings were located and were able to fight the fire and stop the blaze before it threatened the buildings more.

Fire officials urge people to be extra careful with fire and never throw out a cigarette from a vehicle especially due to the extremely dry conditions.