2 wildfires burning in Eastern Wash.


by Associated Press and KREM.com


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:37 PM

Video: 2 wildfires burning in Eastern Wash.

DAVENPORT, Wash. - A new wildfire dubbed the Swanson Lake Fire has burned about 35 square miles of mostly grass and sagebrush along with some scattered timber in Eastern Washington's Lincoln County.

Capt. Scott Crawford of the Spokane Valley Firefighters said Tuesday the blaze broke out at 4:30 p.m. Monday and has destroyed an abandoned grange and an abandoned farmhouse. He says no occupied houses have been destroyed and there have been no injuries.

Crawford says about 100 firefighters with two bulldozers had been called out to battle the blaze Tuesday.

Crawford says three people who volunteered to leave their homes in the Hawk Creek Ranch area spent the night at a Red Cross Center in Davenport.

Crawford says the fire is on state Department of Resources land and some fire districts land.

The fire began southeast of Creston, Wash., and moved to the northeast. It temporarily closed U.S. Highway 2 and State Route 25 Monday night, but the highways were open Tuesday.

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Crawford says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Wildfire threatens homes near Whitman-Spokane County line

A wildfire near the Whitman and Spokane County lines near Rock Lake Road was sparked up during the height of Monday's thunderstorm.

High winds caused the fire to spread quickly to hundreds of acres.

By Tuesday morning state fire assistance had been mobilized to support local firefighters working to contain the fire estimated to be 3,500 acres. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Nine homes are currently threatened and have voluntary evacuations. Crews from Whitcom County, Whitman County and Spokane County have responded to the fire.

Rain from the storm helped the situation to some degree, but by 11:00 p.m. Monday the fire had reportedly grown to over 3,500 acres and was giving crews trouble because of the difficult landscape.

Firefighters pulled off the fire, hoping to gain more ground when they headed back to the flames Tuesday.

One firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but he will be fine.