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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Brush fire burns close to two lower South Hill homes

Aaron Abney, front, and Joseph Christensen help water down the flames to stop a wildfire from entering a yard on the bluff at 2100 W. Ninth Ave., on Tuesday afternoon The fire started along the railroad tracks below and quickly burned up the hill lined with houses. Firefighters, homeowners and good Samaritans stopped the blaze before it could do damage to structures.  (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)

An afternoon brush fire crept to the edge of two lower South Hill homes Tuesday, but firefighters, residents and good Samaritans prevented it from damaging any buildings.

Jim Schaffer, a battalion chief with the Spokane Fire Department, said the fire appears to have started at the bottom of the hill, west of Latah Creek and less than a quarter-mile south of Interstate 90.

Firefighters from Spokane and the state Department of Natural Resources swarmed about the area in the late afternoon. The fire burned a brushy hillside between Eighth and 10th avenues, directly adjacent to the BNSF railroad tracks that parallel Latah Creek and Inland Empire Way.

Charred shrubs and lawn, within feet of homes, were still smoking as of 5 p.m.

A pale gray plume of smoke rose into the clear blue sky above the blackened hillside, easily visible from downtown Spokane. The smell of smoke was noticeable from the intersection of 4th Avenue and Maple Street.

The fire grew to about an acre before firefighters contained it.

Schaffer said the cause of the fire is under investigation.