A wildfire has burned 2,500 acres 10 miles south of Inchelium, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation said on Tuesday. High winds of 15-20 m.p.h. downed a power line at approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday and that sparked a fire that has since threatened 24 structures and caused three residents to be put on level 3 evacuation notice in Ferry County. It’s being dubbed the Kewa Fire.
Several other residents have been put on level 2 evacuation notice which means “be ready to evacuate.” A combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures fueled the fire which filled nearby Stevens County and the Colville Valley with smoke on Tuesday afternoon.
The tribe reported initial suppression efforts on the Kewa Fire included building dozer lines and using existing roads to contain the fire. Resources on the fire include two dozers, two 20-person hand crews and five engines.
Aircraft in the form of three heavy type-1 tankers are also providing support on the fire, and 60 firefighters in all are assigned to this fire. They also said an order for additional resources has been placed. A Type 2 Interagency Incident Management Team is expected to arrive on Wednesday and set up an Incident Command Post at the Inchelium Community Center.
Wednesday’s weather is expected to be partly cloudy with temperatures reaching 80 degrees and 15 m.p.h. wind gusts in the afternoon.
It was a busy day for firefighters across the state as 17 incidents have been reported statewide with most of the fires breaking out in Okanogan County. Large fires are also in Grant and Columbia County.
The Associated Press is reporting a 273-square mile wildfire burning toward the Hanford nuclear reservation in south-central Washington after the blaze began began on Saturday.
The AP is also reporting the wildlife near Moses Lake is still burning and they don’t have a grasp of how many structures burned and what amount of land is burned.
A fire in Whitman County has grown to over 11,000 acres and crews from both Whitman and Garfield counties are battling the blaze.
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By The Independent Staff