MEDICAL LAKE — A brush fire that threatened more than a dozen homes on the West Plains today appears largely under control, with firefighters engaged in a series of mop up operations.
Although flames burned to within a few feet of some homes and structures, the fire apparently bypassed them as it charred about five acres, authorities said. As many as about 20 homes were ordered evacuated and several roads closed.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It ignited in a field near Lefevre Street and quickly spread west in the area of Brooks and Minnie streets on the west end of Medical Lake, authorities said.
Charles Stradling, who lives next to the field with his sister Debra Cook, said they were lucky that a wetland sits between their house and the fire.
“If it would’ve hit the barn, we would be in trouble,” Stradling said. “That would’ve gone up so fast.”
Jeff Kehoe, a contractor, drove by and decided to get out of his truck to help water down Stradling’s roof in case the flames spread in his direction.
Washington State Patrol troopers assisted with evacuating homes in the area. Numerous Medical Lake fire crews remain at the scene.