September 2, 2010 in City

Campfire blamed in Dishman Hills blaze

By The Spokesman-Review

An unattended campfire was being blamed for a small fire that was burning this morning in deep ravine in the Dishman Hills Natural Area.

Spokane Valley firefighters had some trouble this morning gaining access to the small wild fire just west of Dishman Road.

The fire was burning in pine needles and woody debris, underbrush and timber. It was reported by a hiker in the area at 8:37 a.m.

Firefighters initially dug a line around the fire, measuring 20 feet by 40 feet, while another crew figured out a way to run a small hose line into the site off a brush rig. Firefighters then sprayed the fire with the water and foam mix off a 200-gallon tank that had to be replenished.

A crew from the state Department of Natural Resources joined three Spokane Valley fire crews in the effort, which was expected to last into this afternoon.

Battalion Chief Brian Foster-Dow said crews were taking their time to turn over any dead logs and to dig into the soil to make sure roots or rotten wood were not smoldering.

The fire was at the base of a cliff of about 35 feet, but was accessible along the layers of granite rock that make up the natural area.

“It’s very steep. It’s almost vertical,” Foster-Dow said of the terrain.

The location known as Deep Ravine is a narrow canyon about 20-feet wide.

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