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Wildfire threatens Mansfield


Last updated 7/15/2020 at 7:36am

A fire that broke out Saturday afternoon in dry, windy conditions threatened Mansfield, some of whose residents were on a Level 2 evacuation alert.

The Road 11 Fire, which started just before 1 p.m. west of SR-172 as it turns south toward Withrow, burned 9,633 acres but was expected to be completely contained by today, Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team Incident Commander Bob Gear said Tuesday in a press release.

Several structures, including one home, were damaged.

The fire’s cause is under investigation.

Initially, the fire was burning west of SR 172, near Road 11 and moving northward, but a change in wind direction that day pushed the fire east towards Mansfield. Local fire officials asked for state mobilization, which authorized other fire departments to answer the call from far away. At one point, resources available included 10 aircraft and a dozer. And local farmers were cutting through the fields with farm equipment west of town to make a fire break.

Over the last 2 days, the fire’s progress towards Mansfield slowed to a stop and the state team was set to turn management of the fire back to local authorities today.

The National Weather Service had issued a fire weather warning the day before. And in Grant County the same night, fires broke out near Hartline and George but were quickly contained.


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