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Friday, November 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Crews fight brush fire near Indian Canyon Golf Course

A helicopter fights a wildfire north of Indian Canyon Golf Course on Thursday as a southwest wind pushes it northward. (Jesse Tinsley)
A helicopter fights a wildfire north of Indian Canyon Golf Course on Thursday as a southwest wind pushes it northward. (Jesse Tinsley)
By Eli Francovich and Chad Sokol The Spokesman-Review

A brush fire Thursday afternoon near Indian Canyon Golf Course sent clouds of smoke into the sky during rush-hour traffic as flames towered just on the edge of Greenwood Memorial Terrace cemetery.

Water drops from two helicopters helped firefighters build a hasty containment line amid late afternoon winds that worried neighbors.

Helicopters fight the Greenwood fire from The Spokesman-Review on Vimeo.

The fire, called the Greenwood fire, was originally estimated to be 30 acres in size, but GPS coordinates put it at 15 acres. A fire line had been dug around the fire by 7:45 p.m., but Department of Natural Resources spokesman Guy Gifford said crews were hesitant to call it contained.

Ben Tobin, who lives on an acre above the fire along Rimrock Drive, said he suspects the fire started at a homeless camp. Gifford said crews would be there all night and all day today mopping up the fire.

Denny York, the chief executive of Greenwood Memorial Terrace, said the fire started about 4 p.m. and burned a swath of woods about 100 yards wide. It ran along the railroad tracks but did not reach the cemetery grounds.

Also Thursday afternoon, crews battled a 5-acre brush fire south of the Medical Lake Highway near Brayton Road. Although temperatures are expected to be lower today, conditions remain ripe for wildfires. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for today because of extremely low humidity and wind gusts expected as high as 30 mph.

Staff writer Nina Culver contributed to this report.

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