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Firefighters busy over the holiday


A number of small fires marred the busy July 4 holiday weekend, Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Chief Richard Paris reported this week on behalf of several responding agencies, and one large fire near Keller was still being battled Tuesday morning.

At least five of the fires were caused by fireworks incidents, but none covered more than small areas.

Thursday night Electric City firefighters responded to a small fire just north of Devil’s Punch Bowl along Banks Lake. That fire covered a tenth of an acre.

Friday night, July 4, Grand Coulee firefighters extinguished two small fires, one at North Dam and the other just east of the Delano rodeo grounds. About 1 a.m. that night both Grand Coulee and Electric City departments responded to a fire along SR-155, a mile north of the fire from the night before.

Saturday, at about 10 p.m. a fire was reported at Barker Canyon, where campers were trapped, and along with boaters, were evacuated.

Several fire departments responded and a temporary shelter was set up at the Grand Coulee Dam Middle School. That fire burned 11 acres.

On Sunday, Coulee Dam and Douglas County fire crews responded to a half acre fire near Washington Flats accidentally started by target shooters.

A fire started July 4 about 3 miles southeast of Keller and has burned 350 acres in areas of steep terrain and poor access, threatening timber, cultural resources and six structures.

The Silver Creek 2 fire is being managed by the Northeast Washington Interagency Type 3 Incident Management Team that released a crew of 20 out of 205 personnel Tuesday morning.

The fire is 75 percent contained.

Douglas County fire crews were battling a fire near McNeil Canyon, west of Mansfield. That fire had burned 1,200 acres by Tuesday and some 93 evacuation notices had gone out to residents in that area.

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