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Friday, September 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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21 acre fire west of Cheney ‘was in backyards,’ fire chief says

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 5, 2020

A brushfire that reached its peak size at 21 acres Wednesday evening edged up against about a dozen homes west of Cheney, causing immediate evacuations, said Spokane Fire District 3 Chief Cody Rohrbach.

“It was in backyards,” Rohrbach said. “They got enough engines there quick enough they were able to corral it and knock it down.”

About 40 personnel fought the fire, with first responders arriving on the scene within minutes of it being reported. By 7:30 p.m., the fire was about 25% mopped up and firefighters planned to work through the evening.

As of Wednesday evening, evacuation notices were lifted, Rohrbach said. The fire didn’t touch any buildings or injure any people, but two fire engines endured damage by driving over boulders in the area.

Rocks and boulders made it difficult to access the fire from the ground, but crews navigated the terrain while planes dropped water on the blaze.

Other groups, including Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, joined in to control the fire.

“It was a good, integrated effort,” Rohrbach said.

With dry and windy weather predicted, crews were set to patrol the fire Thursday to make sure there aren’t embers in the interior of the fire, Rohrbach said.

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