3,600 acre wildfire erupts near Soap Lake - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

3,600 acre wildfire erupts near Soap Lake

SOAP LAKE, Wash. - State resources are on their way to help firefighters battling a wildfire that erupted near Soap Lake on Sunday.  As of Monday morning, according to Assistant Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer, the fire is 40% contained and has burned about 3,600 acres. 

The Willow Lakes Complex fire was first reported in Grant County around 9:30 Sunday morning about 6 miles east of Ephrata.  Winds blowing 10 to 20 miles an hour helped the fire spread rapidly to within 4 miles southeast of Soap Lake. 

Gary Garnet, Public Information Officer for Grant County Emergency Management said Sunday the fire had covered roughly 6,400 acres by 3:30 p.m.  It burned on land mostly covered by dry cheatgrass and scrub brush.

Flames from the fire damaged one house east of Ephrata in the Willow Lakes area.  Two outbuildings and a car on the property were also burned.

Three local fire districts and a local fire department worked to control the fire all day Sunday.  State resources were approved for the fire around 2:30 p.m., allowing available throughout the state to assist when and where needed.

Additional fire crews could arrive as early as Sunday night to help crews on the ground.  A helicopter and two fixed wing aircraft are also assigned to the fire.

Garnet said he did not know how the fire started.  He noted conditions were extremely dry and that strong winds contributed to the fire's rapid growth.

No evacuation orders had been given as of Sunday afternoon.
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