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Silver Lake fire near Cheney is almost burnt out

August 9, 2018

After three days, the Silver Lake fire that burned 340 acres along Interstate 90 near Cheney is nearly burnt out.

All evacuations have been lifted for the roughly 150 residents whose homes were threatened Monday afternoon when the fast-moving blaze sparked at about 1 p.m. and swallowed several miles of grass, brush and trees in a skinny stretch near the busy freeway. Investigators said it was started by burning material from a vehicle passing by on the interstate.

Guy Gifford, spokesman for the Washington Department of Natural Resource’s Northeast Washington Interagency Communication Center, said the fire was nearly half contained after crews spent Tuesday and Wednesday mopping up hot spots.

He said travelers can expect to see some smoke and flames from old logging slash piles of branches and materials that continue to burn.

An updated GPS map of the charred land ballooned the size of the fire Thursday morning, with initial rough estimates putting it at about 100 acres, compared to its total size of 340 acres. Gifford said it’s unusual for a fire of that size to stretch 11 miles, but it was spurred by unburned land and winds.

Thursday’s crews, Gifford said, would continue to focus on extinguishing any remaining hot spots. A total of 117 fire personnel are assigned, including three hand crews, 20 fire engines and four water tender trucks.

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