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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Crews stablize Cheney-area wildfires, expect progress

UPDATED: Fri., July 26, 2019, 7:55 p.m.

The Graham Fire, the larest of the four in the Cheney Cimplex Fire, is located southwest of Cheney. Six residents are still under evacuation orders as of Friday morning. (Courtesy of Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2)
The Graham Fire, the larest of the four in the Cheney Cimplex Fire, is located southwest of Cheney. Six residents are still under evacuation orders as of Friday morning. (Courtesy of Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2)
By Will Campbell and Jared Brown The Spokesman-Review

The Cheney Complex Fire, made up of four fires, was 65 percent contained as of Friday evening.

The Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team is assisting with four separate fires in the Cheney area including the Graham Fire, the Grogan Fire, the Lake Badger Fire and the Badger Fire.

The estimated containment date is now July 28, and all evacuations orders have been lifted.

“Firefighters made excellent progress today in anticipation of the forecasted increase in winds tonight and tomorrow,” according to a news release issued Friday by Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney, spokesman for the fire.

Firefighters used infrared heat detection equipment to help identify and mop up hot spots. Approximately 175 firefighters are still on scene.

Officials expect the containment “to increase significantly over the next couple days,” according to Sevigney.

The Graham fire, the Grogan fire, the Lake Badger fire and the Badger fire have burned a total of 171 acres, according to Sevigney.

Fire crews have all four fires 100% surrounded, or “lined,” and will be using hand tools and a bulldozer to move toward the interior of the fires, according to Sevigney.

Crews will be checking for heat 100 yards from their perimeters and ensuring fire does not spread, according to the news release.

The fires started after Tuesday night’s large lightning storm struck the ground and trees, leaving burning embers that turned into the fires on Wednesday.

Containment is based on percentage of certainity that incident won’t escape the established perimeter.

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