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

Brush fire in Mica caused by ash from woodstove

A brush fire reported in Mica was caused by ash someone had dumped from a wood stove.  (Photo courtesy of Spokane County Fire District No. 8)

Crews extinguished a fire in the Mica area after someone dumped ashes from a wood-burning stove into drying grass and brush Wednesday afternoon.

Fire crews from District 8 and the Department of Natural Resources were dispatched to a residence on the 7900 block of South Chestnut Lane at about 2:30 p.m., District 8 Chief Lonnie Rash said.

A nearby homeowner advised fire crews that about a quarter-acre was on fire, Rash said. The fire grew to about a half-acre by the time crews arrived.

No trees caught fire and crews were able to contain and suppress the fire within about 20 minutes, Rash said. The fire was contained to the property, he said.

The fire began after someone dumped hot ashes from a wood-burning stove into the drying brush, Rash said. No one will be cited.

Similar brush fires are not uncommon during colder, wetter weather, Rash said. While longer grasses remain wet and green at their base, the top parts can stay dry and flammable in a process known as a “brown-up,” he said.

“This part of the season, it’s always important to remind folks that brown-ups do occur because of those dry and dead grasses,” he said.

Rash advised residents to soak ashes in a bucket of water or spray them with a garden hose before disposing of them.