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.
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