NEAR LATAH Wash. -- Firefighters in south Spokane County scrambled to get a wheat field under control before it reached a home late Saturday morning.
The wind, hot weather and dry conditions cooked up a fast-moving fire north of the town of Latah. It happened along Highway 27 near Marsh Road. Firefighters say all it took was a little spark to burn about 50 acres of wheat. Fire investigators believe the spark came from moving farm equipment.
Crews arrived within five minutes after the emergency call. In that time, the fire consumed more than 10 acres of wheat stubble. The dryness spread the flames and the wind fueled it.
Farmers hauled in tractors to plow around the fire. That created a natural fire break to slow it down. In all, it consumed an estimated 50 acres but it did not burn any homes.
Fire investigators suspect that farm equipment could simply churn up a rock that could have caused the spark or a bearing went out.