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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Thousands of acres still burning in Washington, though fires are nearing containment

This map shows the boundary of the Whitney Fire.  (THOMAS CLOUSE/The Spokesman-Review)
This map shows the boundary of the Whitney Fire. (THOMAS CLOUSE/The Spokesman-Review)

Crews fighting large fires in Eastern Washington are nearing full containment, while North Idaho fires will likely take weeks to get there, according to incident overviews Wednesday.

Here’s a rundown of the latest from the fire lines.

The Whitney fire in Lincoln County hovered at 127,000 acres as 305 personnel brought containment from 85% to 95% from Tuesday to Wednesday. Crews expect it will be 100% contained by Monday.

The Babb-Malden fire, which struck Malden hard, grew to about 18,254 acres Wednesday, since clocking in at 15,000 acres Tuesday. It remained about 90% contained.

In Idaho, the Callahan fire burning 9 miles west of Troy has hovered at around 1,200 acres, though crews don’t expect to contain the fire until mid-October. About 120 personnel are fighting the fire as it burns in steep timber and brush.

Thick smoke has prevented air crafts from dropping water, but it has also suppressed afternoon temperatures by 10 to 15 degrees.

Across the Washington border, crews fighting the Inchelium Complex fire on the Colville Indian Reservation ticked up from 53% containment Tuesday to 60% Wednesday, and was expected to reach full containment Monday. It was about 19,000 acres as of Wednesday.

Light rain sprinkled Inchelium on Wednesday morning without significantly wetting it. Thick smoke blanketing the area has maintained lower temperatures and higher humidity, preventing some spread.

Meanwhile, the Whitetail Loop, Hunter 2 and Bernard fires in North Idaho remained under 1,000 acres each. Whitetail and Hunter 2 were 100% contained, while Bernard was 20% contained. The Sunnyside Complex fire, at about 4,300 acres, was 90% contained as of Wednesday and expected to be fully contained by Sept. 30.

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