Officials ordered the evacuation of about 10 homes near the intersection of Graham Road and Highway 904 near Cheney on Wednesday afternoon and put another 16 residences on notice to be ready to leave at any time, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials also closed Highway 904 and established a fire line about 800 yards north of the road in an effort to keep the blaze from reaching it.
Spokane County Fire District 3 Chief Cody Rohrbach was optimistic crews would be successful in that effort.
“It looks like we’re gonna keep it south of the highway,” he said.
While progress was made on what officials are calling the Graham Fire on Wednesday afternoon, crews were also working to contain three other area blazes: the Badger, Grogan and Lake Badger fire.
In an effort to improve management, Rohrbach said the four fires would be upgraded to a complex fire and moved to a Type 3 incident management team to oversee them.
Rohrbach said the change in management does not reflect concerns about the blazes’ intensity but allows firefighting agencies to pool resources more effectively.
He said District 3 crews were fighting 14 on Wednesday.
Isabelle Hoygaard, Washington Department of Natural Resources spokesperson, said crews were battling the Graham Fire with one bulldozer, four fire bosses, one helicopter and two Very Large Air Tankers dropping retardant on the fires. At least one Airway Heights Correctional Facility crew was on site digging a hand line, Hoygaard said.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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