Update 12:30 p.m. Monday: Homes just south of Springdale remain under a level 1 evacuation notice as crews continue to battle the 231 fire.
The fire is burning about seven miles south of Springdale and as of Monday afternoon had already burned around 880 acres of grass, brush and timber. It is 25% contained.
One structure has been destroyed, along with 4 outbuildings as crews fight the flames from the ground and air. Fire crews from across the state are assisting Stevens County Fire District 1 with structure protection.
Fire lines have been established on the south, west and east flanks of the fire, but the fire is still very active on the north side and is burning in privately owned timber.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources issued a closure for the Lake Spokane Campground and boat launch. Highway 231 has reopened; firefighters are still in the area and motorists are asked to slow down and be cautious.
Update 7:00 p.m., Sunday: The 231 Fire (also called the Rail Canyon Fire) is currently estimated at 880 acres and is 25% contained. The Lake Spokane Campground and boat launch are closed. Highway 231 has re-opened between Ford and Reservation Road. Fire personnel are still in the area and drivers are asked to drive cautiously.
Cell phone service is spotty in the area. We have updated the number to call for information to a local number. That number is 509-724-0040. (Information from http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4363/)
Update 10:00 a.m., Sunday: According to Stevens County Fire District 1, fire crews have a handle on most of the Rail Canyon Fire. They are letting it burn to the bulldozer lines. Helicopters are on standby just in case the fire jumps containment lines. Highway 231 will be reopened today. Evacuations will also be lifted today.
Update: 7:25 p.m., Saturday: According to Stevens County Fire District 1, The Rail Canyon Fire has grown to an estimated 850 acres.. The Type II Incident Management Team has taken over operations. Highway 231 is scheduled to be reopened on Sunday, More crews will be coming in on Sunday to continue fighting this fire. Mop up will be extensive but will start in certain locations tomorrow.
Update 3:30 p.m., Saturday: Stevens County Fire District 1 Fire Chief Mike Bucy has confirmed that fireworks were the cause of the Rail Canyon Road fire that broke out Friday afternoon. He also told KHQ fireworks shows in Loon Lake, Deer Lake and Suncrest have been canceled for the 4th of July.
Update, 2:10 p.m., Saturday: The Department of Natural Resources reported Saturday afternoon that the Rail Canyon fire has grown to about 600 acres and eight structures have been lost.
Update, 11:40 a.m.: The American Red Cross is still operating a shelter at Mary Walker High School in Springdale. The shelter housed 13 people overnight including 12 firefighters and one evacuated resident. Four more residents registered at the shelter Saturday morning.
A 500-acre fire is still burning in Stevens County near Highway 231 and Rail Canyon Road. Stevens County reports many firefighters were fighting the flames overnight, but more wind and hot weather have the potential to spread the fire more Saturday.
Stevens County Fire District 1 says today will be a busy day for firefighters and more firefighters from across the state should be showing up to fight the fire.
The Lake Spokane (Long Lake) Campground is closed Saturday because of this fire. Crews report Highway 231 from Ford Main Street to Reservation Road will be closed most of the day as well.
The fire is surrounded, but Stevens County says there is no containment yet.
This story is developing and we will post more updates as we get them.