Fires rage on near Grand Coulee, Creston

Published On: Sep 12 2012 08:10:16 AM PDT   Updated On: Sep 12 2012 10:01:13 AM PDT
Grand Coulee Dam area brush fire

Firefighters said 78,165 acres have burned in the Grand Coulee area. Another 20,000 acres have also been torched south of Creston.

Incident Information Officer Karen Ripley said 60,800 of those acres are in the Leahy Junction area and 17,365 acres are near Barker Canyon. The jump in acreage came from wind activity Monday night.

Ripley said the Barker fire was stable Wednesday morning and it wasn't very active Tuesday night. Three homes and nine outbuildings have been destroyed by the fire. Twelve more homes and 38 outbuildings are still threatened. 186 firefighters from around the state continue to battle the flames and protect those homes.

Firefighters were successful in creating fire lines along the Columbia River northeast of the fire.

Ripley said Bonneville Power is checking power lines and power poles that have burned in the fire.

She also said previous reports of a firefighter being injured were a mistake, and no firefighters have been hurt. The fires are 20 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.

Ripley also said Highway 174 is back open.

The Apache Pass Fire southwest of Creston is still burning, too. Firefighters said the fire is now 30 percent contained. Aircraft and about 100 firefighters will continue working on the fire Wednesday. Approximately 12 houses are still on a level 2 evacuation notice, meaning they need to be ready to leave with 30 minutes notice.

No homes have been lost in the fire, but a few outbuildings have been destroyed. Hatten Road is the only road that is closed.