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San Poil evacuations ordered due to fires

Updated 8/7/14 at 10:48 a.m.


Scott Hunter

The view of Lake Roosevelt is obscured Tuesday mornging as smoke from fires on the Colville Indian Reservation chokes the area.


As of 9 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, the fires had consumed nearly 8,300 acres and was threatening some 50 homes and 50 other structures. One outbuilding has burned.

San Poil Valley residents were ordered to evacuate Tuesday due to several fires on the Colville Indian Reservation that have burned about 2,000 acres, according to officials at the Mt. Tolman Fire Center.

Some 20 to 25 homes are threatened, along with cultural resources, power lines and commercial timber.

One fire, burning in grass and brush, is 20 miles north of Nespelem near the Columbia River Road. The Timm Ranch fire started Sunday and has burned about 500 acres and was 80 percent contained Tuesday afternoon.

Three fires are burning in the San Poil Valley.

Glo Carroll

Smoke rises over highway 21 north of Keller near the intersection with Bridge Creek Road Tuesday afternoon.

The Central Peak Fire between Bridge Creek and 30-mile road north of Keller has burned 150-200 acres west of SR 21. The Deadhorse Fire has burned another 200 acres and Cub Creek has burned a couple acres.

Fire officials said there were about 250 lightning strikes on the reservation during the Aug. 2 storm.

This fire had burned 500-600 acres in steep terrain, fueled by slash left over from a windstorm two years ago. Fire officials declared a level-three evacuation for the area late Tuesday.

Colville Tribal Police declared State Route 21 closed from milepost 128 to milepost 140, about 20 miles south of Republic.

A Type 3 management team was expected to hand over management of the Devil's Elbow Complex Tuesday afternoon to a Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4.

There are five 20-person hand crews, four dozers, 13 engines and three fire tenders on the fire, totalling about 210 firefighters.

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