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Fireworks display had more spectacle than planned

Fire crews were ready


A fire burned a patch of land near the canal near North Dam on Saturday night.

A fireworks show put on by the Northwest Pyrotechnics Association went awry when a fire erupted and burned between two and three acres.

The permitted event had fire personnel standing by for such an occurrence, with four trucks on standby.

A press release from Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rick Paris said that the fire started at 10:30 p.m. and that Grand Coulee and Electric City Volunteer Fire Departments were called in to assist Bureau of Reclamation firefighters.

The fire burned sagebrush and grass.

“There were a lot of flames and smoke; from a distance it looked pretty spectacular,” Paris said.

“The firefighting crews were able to extinguish the fire by accessing the fire from the canal road and across private land in the Pleasant Valley area. We appreciated the access from the adjacent landowners.”

Paris said the fire fighting was over by about 1:30 a.m., but USBR firefighters watched the area through the night, and a Bureau of Land Management crew finished mopping up Sunday.

“There were no structures involved and no injuries reported.”

“I was standing right by the fire marshall,” said local man Alan Cain, who is part of the NPA. “We launched a couple stars; one landed right on top of the rock by the dam. We were all admiring it. It kind of looked like a volcano. He said we could continue. The very next one, one of the stars hit the ground and started four tiny fires, two of which were put out quickly, and two got larger than an individual can handle.”

“That’s why the fire department was there,” Cain continued. “I’m far happier with them standing by. I really do appreciate their help. They can do things very, very quickly.”

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