Fire danger raised to moderate as crews battle Highway 27 fires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire danger raised to moderate as crews battle Highway 27 fires

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Inmates from Geiger Corrections were on scene Tuesday morning working to maintain the fire line by clearing stumps and overturning white spots. Inmates from Geiger Corrections were on scene Tuesday morning working to maintain the fire line by clearing stumps and overturning white spots.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Spokane County raised the fire danger to moderate Tuesday morning after two fires started late Monday afternoon near Highway 27 and Dishman Mica Road. The fire in the northern section burned 10 acres, and the fire in the southern section burned 17 acres. On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Natural Resources said the two fires are contained and crews hope to get them controlled by Wednesday evening.

Fire crews do not have an official cause for either fire yet, but they are investigating whether a Union Pacific rail line nearby could have sparked one or both fires.

Several work crews have been working around the clock to get the fire controlled. Inmates from Geiger Corrections were on scene Tuesday morning working to maintain the fire line by clearing stumps and overturning white spots. Low humidity and record setting temperatures had crews feeling the heat.

"We had weather here yesterday on site at 102 degrees with 17 percent RH (relative humidity), so those are tough conditions for firefighters," said Cody Rohrbach with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Wind was also a concern as the fires quickly spread.

"It didn't take too awful long, probably less than a half hour for the fire to go all the way from Highway 27 up to the top road we're on here," said Rohrbach.

DNR officials said the damage from the fires could have been worse.

"What we see as green grass helped to stall the fire spread a little bit. Had it been July and August and everything was cured out it would have moved even quicker," said Rohrbach. "It would have been even more challenging to control."

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