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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Evacuation levels lowered, firefighters get better handle of Hardesty Valley and Hazard Hill fires in Spokane

UPDATED: Tue., July 27, 2021

Officials lowered evacuation orders for residents living near two fires that started Sunday, one on Hazard Hill in the Wandermere area and the other near East Valley Lane in Elk.

The Hazard Hill fire started on the 5100 block of West Hazard Road on Sunday and grew to about 120 acres as of Monday night, fire officials said.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes Monday night after officials set Level 3 “go now” evacuation orders.

Officials told residents living on Hazard Road, Austin Road and north to Ballard Road on Monday night they no longer needed to leave immediately, but should stay prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

The fire showed no new growth Tuesday, and is now 20% contained.

The Hardesty Valley fire started about 5 p.m. Sunday near 6800 E. Valley Lane in Elk.

The blaze prompted immediate evacuations when it started and grew to at least 30 acres.

Firefighters were able to improve fire lines, and the fire was 60% contained and stayed at 30 acres on Tuesday.

Officials lowered orders for residents living near North Hardesty Lane on the west to North Bruce Road on the east, as well as south of East Valley Road and north of East Elk to Highway Road. All evacuations were lowered to Level 1 on Tuesday, according to the Northeast Region-Department of Natural Resources.

Both fires threatened several homes in their respective areas when they started within a few hours of each other Sunday.

The fires are only a sampling of the patchwork of blazes burning across the region this summer.

The Cub Creek 2 fire near Winthrop continues to be the one of the biggest and hardest to handle blazes in Washington. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the fire was 51,168 acres and 11% contained. Officials don’t expect to reach complete containment until the end of August, according to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Nearby, the Cedar Creek fire is also proving difficult to manage. It has steadily grown to 33,462 acres with 13% containment, and continues to keep State Route 20 closed at milepost 185 to milepost 165.

However, the Chuweah Creek fire near Nespelem has been almost completely controlled, staying at 36,752 acres and 85% containment. Firefighters are mopping up the fire and no water was needed on Monday, according to Northwest Incident Management Team 12.

But the nearby Summit Trail fire is growing with little containment, most recently coming in at 13,767 acres and 6% containment.

Evacuation levels remained the same for the Sherwood fire, which was 30% contained and 1,102 acres as of Tuesday. Level 3 evacuations remain in place for Ford-Wellpinit Road 1 mile East of Joe Sherwood Road to Martha Boardman Road, and Level 2 evacuations remain for homes 1 mile South of Ford-Wellpinit Road on Martha Boardman Road.

The largest blaze in Washington, the Lick Creek fire near Asotin, is almost completely controlled at 90% containment. It sits at 80,392 acres.

The Spruce Canyon fire, which closed Highway 20 on Friday, is 67 acres and 10% contained. Highway 20 is now open with a pilot car, according to the Northeast Region-Department of Natural Resources.

In Idaho, the biggest fire in the region, the Snake River Complex fire south off Lewiston, is at a whopping 108,794 acres. But firefighters who have been battling the fire for weeks are nearing complete containment, with the fire 85% contained as of Tuesday.

Finally, the Character Complex fire near Kellogg is 5,174 acres and is 30% contained.

Spokesman-Review reporter Sydney Brown also contributed to this report.

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