Cayuse Mountain/Hart Road Update: Fire lines hold; containment u - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cayuse Mountain/Hart Road Update: Fire lines hold; containment up

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UPDATE August 28, 2016 11:00 a.m. 

Fire lines on the Hart Road and Cayuse Mountain fires burning in Lincoln and Stevens County held strong through the red flag warning Saturday. 

The Hart Road Fire, burning north of Davenport, is now 95 percent contained, jumping nearly 20 percent since Saturday's update. It did not grow overnight and remains at just under 5,000 acres in size. 

Firefighters will continue to patrol along fire lines and near structures and will utilize infrared imaging devices to identify any residual heat near structures.  Firefighters will continue fire line repair and rehabilitation work to limit future erosion. State mobilized resources are being pulled off the fire Sunday and the fire is being transferred back to Lincoln County districts.

While fire behavior is expected to be limited, residents in the area are still under a level 2 evacuation order Sunday. Road closures are in place at the junction of Highway 25 and Hart Road and at Porcupine Hill Road. The campground at Porcupine Bay is also closed.

In Stevens County, the Cayuse Mountain fire is now 65 percent contained, up five percent from Saturday's update. The fire did not grow overnight and remains at 18,417 acres in size as of Sunday morning.

Evacuation levels have been downgraded on the Cayuse Mountain fire. All Level 3 evacuation orders are now level 2, and all level 2 evacuations are now level 1. Road closures remain in place.  They include Elijah Road, Flett Road, Matthews Lake Road, Jacobs Road, Brandom Road, and Wynecoop-Cayuse Road.

School is scheduled to begin on Monday. It was delayed due to the fire. Fire officials urge caution during school commute times in the area. Officials also report the Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow will go on as planned.

The Wellpinit water tower is now full. Last week, the town was experiencing water shortages because of the fire.

There is still no word on the cause of either fire.

UPDATE August 27, 2016 11:30 a.m.

Fire officials report the Hart Road fire burning in Lincoln County about 13 miles north of Davenport is 78 percent contained Saturday morning and remains at just under 5,000 acres. 

Friday crews worked mop-up operations and post-fire repair and rehabilitation. Fire behavior was minimal Friday. A red flag warning was issued Saturday and will be in effect from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to gusty winds and low relative humidity. 

On the Stevens County side of the Spokane River, the Cayuse Mountain fire is now 60 percent contained and remains at 18,417 acres Saturday morning. On Friday firefighters worked to strengthen lines around the fire's perimeter, and also completed a contingency line between the fire and the town of Wellpinit. The contingency line will help firefighters if the fire breaks the current perimeter and advances toward the town.

Level 2 and 3 evacuation orders and road closures remain in place for the Cayuse Mountain fire. Road closures include Elijah Road, Flett Road, Matthews Lake Road, Jacobs Road, Brandom Road, and Wynecoope-Cayuse Road. Drivers are asked to use extreme caution as non-paved roads have numerous hazards including holes, snags and falling trees.

UPDATE August 26, 2016 8:30 a.m.

Fire officials on the front lines of the Hart Road Fire say the fire didn't grow much from Thursday to Friday. The approximate size right now is estimated to be just under 5,000 acres. Containment, however, went up to 55%. 

Crews will focus their efforts Friday on mopping up on perimeter lines and near structures. Winds are expected to be calm on Friday, but crews say firelines will be tested on Saturday as gusts of up to 30 mph are expected. 

The Cayuse Mountain Fire is currently 50% contained as of Friday morning. So far it has burned 18,417 acres and destroyed 14 homes and 9 other structures. 

Level 2 and Level 3 evacuations and road closures remain in place. Road closures include Elijah Road, Flett Road, Matthews Lake Road, Jacobs Road, Brandom Road, and Wynecoope-Cayuse Road. Nonpaved roads have numerous hazards including holes, snags and falling trees.   

Update August 25, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Fire officials say the Hart Road Fire, burning about 13 miles north of Davenport is now 36% contained. The fire has burned approximately 5,000 acres since it started over the weekend. Several homes and outbuildings have been lost. 

As of Thursday morning, there are 340 total personnel working to fight the fire, including 4 helicopters. Additional crews, engines and other equipment arrived Wednesday. Crews will continue to secure fireline in the northwest corner, carry out patrol and mop up in the southerly portion and locate hot spots and mop up near structures and residences. 

Crews battling the Cayuse Mountain fire say it is 40% contained and 18,200 acres. Evacuations still remain at Level 2, except for a really small, one block area that is still under a Level 3 in Wellpinit. 

UPDATE: August 24, 10:30 a.m.

The Hart Road Fire burning in Lincoln County is 20% contained according to a briefing from officials Wednesday morning. So far, they say it has burned around 4400 acres and destroyed 26 outbuildings and 13 homes. 

Additional crews and engines arrived Tuesday evening. The primary focus Wednesday will be on strengthening fireline in the northwest portion of the fire and extinguishing all fires within 300 feet of structures.

Burning to the north of the Hart Road Fire is the Cayuse Fire. Evacuations in the town of Wellpinit have been lowered to Level 2, but there are still some areas outside of Wellpinit that are under Level 3 evacuations. So far nearly 18,000 acres have burned and the fire is 30% contained. 8 homes have been lost. 

A donation drive for the victims of the Cayuse fire will be held Thursday in Spokane from 6:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. in downtown Spokane at the corner of Howard and Riverside.

UPDATE: August 23 8:55 p.m.:

Washington DNR reports the Hart fire burning near Davenport is 20 percent contained as of Tuesday night.

UPDATE: August 23 3:50 p.m.:

As of Tuesday afternoon the Hart Road Fire, burning south of the Spokane River, remains at 4,200 acres in size with 10 percent containment.

On the other side of the river, KHQ's Hayley Guenthner reports the Cayuse Fire is now 12,700 acres in size. A Type 2 Incident Management Team is taking over on that fire, which will free up local resources. 13 homes have burned so far in the Cayuse Fire. Firefighters say the fire is 30 percent contained Tuesday.

UPDATE: August 23, 2016 9:30 a.m.

Officials say the Hart Road Fire has split into two fires, with the Spokane River separating them. 

South of the river is the Hart Road Fire, which has burned 4200 acres and is 10 percent contained. 

North of the river is the Cayuse Mountain Fire, which has burned 5-10,000 acres and 13 homes have been lost. The Cayuse Mountain Fire is 30% contained. 

The town of Wellpinit remains under a Level 2 evacuation order. 

Porcupine Bay, Moccasin Bay, and Cayuse Cover Neighborhoods are also under a Level 2 evacuation order. 

Previous Coverage:

UPDATE: 6:41 a.m.: on Tuesday: Steven's County Fire District 1 has confirmed that 13 homes have been lost in the Hart Road Fire and thankfully, there have been no reports of serious injury. At least 50 people who have been evacuated or lost their homes have taken shelter in the Wellpinit School but this does not include the people who have gone to stay with family and friends.

UPDATE: 8:35 p.m.: KHQ's Hayley Guenthner, who is on the scene of the Hart Road fire Monday night, reports evacuations in the town of Wellpinit have dropped to level 2, which means residents should be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.:

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says Level 3 evacuations in the Cayuse Cove and Porcupine Bay area have been lowered to Level 2, which means be ready to go. The Sheriff's Office is asking citizens to remain alert as the conditions can change quickly. 

The fire has burned an estimated 10,000 acres and the town of Wellpinit is still under a Level 3 evacuation. 

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.:

Firefighters say the massive Hart Road Fire, burning near Wellpinit is now 30% contained. Crews say air support is helping. 

Evacuations still remain in place, however. So far it is estimated that the fire has burned around 10,000 acres. 

Officials on scene tell KHQ that Wellpinit has lost power, which adds to the challenge of fighting the blaze because the water tanks used to fight the fire are filled by an electric pump. Firefighters tell KHQ's Joe McHale that there is water in the tank but at the rate crews are fighting the fire, it "won't be good" if the power does not come back on, which could be a few days. 

UPDATE: 7:15 a.m.

Firefighters say the Hart Road Fire, burning near the town of Wellpinit, has grown to more than 10,000 acres in size and is 0% contained. At least 10 homes have already been lost, and LEVEL 3 evacuations are in place for the town of Wellpinit. 

Officials on scene tell KHQ that Wellpinit has lost power, which adds to the challenge of fighting the blaze because the water tanks used to fight the fire are filled by an electric pump. Firefighters tell KHQ's Joe McHale that there is water in the tank but at the rate crews are fighting the fire, it "won't be good" if the power does not come back on, which could be a few days. 

Previous Coverage:

Update 6:00 am: The Hart Road fire exploded overnight, doubling in size. Fire authorities confirm the fire is now more than 10,000 acres and at least three homes have been lost.

Update 9:14 pm: The Hart Road fire is now up to 5,000 acres according to crews on the scene. Stevens County Fire District 1 reports the town of Wellpinit is now under Level 3 evacuation meaning residents of the town should leave immediately.

State fire assistance has been mobilized to help fight the fire. Fire crews will be on scene throughout the night.

The cause remains under investigation.

Update 6:35 p.m.: The Hart Road Fire is 1,000 acres, DNR reports homes have been lost and 60 homes are threatened. There is no word yet on containment on the fire, but fire crews are working hard on the air and ground to fight the blaze.

Update 6 p.m.: Department of Natural Resources reports the fire burning in Lincoln County, now called the Hart Road fire, is approximately 1,000 acres. Ryan Overton reports the fire has jumped the Spokane River. Embers carried by winds sparked it on the north side of the Spokane River, Lincoln County deputies report at least one structure has been lost so far, but more losses could happen.

Fire crews are focusing on getting everyone evacuated safely Sunday evening

Previous coverage:

Fire crews are fighting a large brush fire north of Highway 25 Sunday. The fire is burning out of control and level 3 evacuations are in place for for those living in the area of Highway 25 and Hart Road. Anyone three miles to the north and northeast is asked to leave immediately.

KHQ's Ryan Overton is on the scene of the fire now gathering more information. He spoke with a sheriff's deputy who tells him homes have already been lost.

Firefighters are fighting the fire from the air and the ground but resources are stretched thin as several fires have broken in our region Sunday afternoon.  

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