July 19, 2014

Fast growing fire near Fishtrap Lake

 
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The Watermelon Hill fire near Fishtrap Lake consumes trees after crossing Pine Springs Road Saturday night. The wildfire has burned between 5000 and 6000 acres and moving in a southeast direction. A level three evacuation order have been given to people living near or in path of the fire.
(Full-size photo)

There is a large, fast growing fire near Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County that rapidly spread east into Spokane County. Fire engines have responded from Lincoln, Spokane and Whitman counties.

The size was estimated at between 5,000 and 6,000 acres as of 9 p.m. Saturday and the fire was moving northeast. “It’s still running,” said Forrest Ownbey of the Department of Natural Resources.

The fire, being driven by brisk winds, is being called the Watermelon Hill fire. “It’s jumped Fish Trap Lake,” said Ownbey.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the fire was started by three people shooting exploding targets. They were driving a yellow Dodge pickup with a black stripe. Anyone with information on the people or the truck is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (509) 725-3501.

Residents were told to evacuate from the area bordered on the north by Lance Hill Road/Phillips Road, on the west by Pine Springs Road, on the east by Sterling Road and on the south by Scroggie Road. Residents living north of Lance Hill Road are on a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning they should be ready to leave with an hour’s notice.

The Fish Trap Resort has been evacuated and about 100 homes are threatened.

The Reverse 911 system was activated to notify residents of the evacuation. “Deputies are actually going door to door if necessary,” said Gerry Bozarth of Spokane Emergency Management.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Cheney Middle School, 2716 N. Sixth St. Livestock and horses can be brought to the Cheney Rodeo Grounds.


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