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After safe holiday, fire danger is now high

Fires starting from simple lawn maintenance


It truly was a safe and sane 4th of July as far as local fires go, but current conditions call for high caution, firefighters warn.

Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department Chief Richard Paris reported this week that there was only one fire in the area during the July 4 celebration, and that was in a small grassy area between North Dam and the softball fields.

“The area firefighters are very appreciative of the local citizens and visitors,” Paris stated Monday. “Most people followed Coulee Dam’s ban and Grand Coulee’s new ordinance and did not fire off private fireworks except at North Dam.”

He said the small blaze, set off by five young people at North Dam, burned an area only about 10 feet by 10 feet when first noticed, and that “it was decided to let it burn itself out so we wouldn’t have to deal with it later.”

The small fire drew a quick response from Electric City, Grand Coulee, Bureau of Reclamation and some firefighters from Douglas County Fire District 3, along with Grand Coulee police.

“We had dry and hot conditions (and only the one small fire), but the rest of Grant County had several fires,” Paris explained.

Paris stated that there is “high danger” with the increased fuels developed by the wet and cool spring, and the current temperatures in the high 90- and 100-degree range.

“We need people to be careful when doing outdoor activities,” Paris said. “One large fire this last week in the central part of Grant County was reported to have been caused by a weed eater. A Douglas County resident said he found three smouldering fires in his grass after mowing, probably from hitting a rock.”

If you see a fire, call 911 immediately.

“The sooner we can get to a fire, the smaller we can keep it,” Paris said.


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