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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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North Touchet fire threatens homes near Dayton

From staff reports

A 550-acre wildfire near Dayton, Washington, that initially threatened 125 homes is mostly contained.

The North Touchet fire started Saturday around 5 p.m., according to a news release from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

It was initially estimated to be 700 acres, the release said, but Columbia County Fire District 3 spokesman Dwight Robanske said Sunday the size was closer to 550 acres. He said the fire was about 80 percent contained as of Sunday morning.

State firefighters were mobilized to assist local firefighters.

As of Saturday night, 25 nearby homes were under Level 3 evacuation orders, meaning they were told to leave the area immediately. One hundred homes were under a Level 1 evacuation, meaning residents were notified that they may need to evacuate.

Robanske said about 15 homes are still threatened by the fire, but residents have been allowed to return home. Threatened homes remain under Level 1 evacuation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported investigators believe it may have started when a resident cutting brush hit a rock, causing a spark.

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