Air support is helping firefighters on the ground battle a brush fire burning on a hillside in the Nine Mile Falls area in the vicinity of Highway 291 and Homestead Way.

The fire is approximately 10 acres in size and is burning on a steep hillside in brush and timber. Crews have the fire 85% contained with full containment expected on Thursday.

The Fire Boss, a specially equipped plane based in Deer Park that can drop up to 800 gallons of water and then drop onto nearby any nearby waterways to scoop up more water to re-attack the fire.

Additional assets fighting the fire include another aircraft, a helicopter, two DNR hand crews with 20 personnel and 11 fire engine crews. A total of 50 firefighters are attacking the fire from the ground and the air.

Fire officials on the scene have closed Highway 291 near Milepost 10 just south of the Stevens / Spokane County line to help facilitate the firefighting effort.

The Washington State Patrol and Department of Transportation is also at the scene along with fire crews.

There is no estimated time on when Highway 291 will be reopened, but probably will not reopen until Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Drivers are being detoured onto Swenson Road.