LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

NEAR FISHTRAP LAKE, Wash. -- High winds fanned the flames of the Watermelon Hill fire southwest of Spokane Sunday morning causing the fire to grow from 5,000 acres to 13,000 acres according to fire public information officer Gerry Bozarth.

Bozarth said the fire has zero containment at this time, but crews are aggressively fighting it through the air and on land.

100 structures are threatened as of 9 a.m. Sunday, which is approximately the same number as Saturday night. Bozarth had no reports of any homes damaged or destroyed.

Bozarth said the fire did not move towards populated areas overnight so fire officials as of 8 a.m. Sunday lowered the evacuation orders for almost all areas to Level 1, which means people should be aware they might need to leave the area.

The only mandatory Level 3 evacuation order was in effect for Scroggie Road and Fishtrap Lake Resort.

Bozarth said 200 firefighters are on scene Sunday with more expected later in the day.

A shelter has been set up for evacuated people at Cheney Middle School, but the shelter is expected to go on standby status late Sunday morning. Bozarth said less than ten people stayed at the shelter overnight.

The fire was allegedly started around 2:50 p.m. Saturday by three people shooting an explosive southwest of Spokane and forced the evacuation of rural homes near Fishtrap Lake.

The fire then jumped Fishtrap Lake after 4 p.m. to cross into Spokane County.

Fishtrap Lake resort was also evacuated Saturday afternoon.

The Cheney Rodeo Grounds is set up to take displaced livestock and horses.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said the fire was started by three people in a yellow Dodge pickup with a black stripe.

The Sheriff's Office said the suspects were shooting tanerite, which is an explosive.

Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 509-725-3501.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.nwcn.com/story/news/2014/08/18/14025324/