Firefighters were in high demand Tuesday along Highway 2. Three fires, burning miles apart, kept crews busy for most of the afternoon.
The first fire broke out near Highway 2 at N Pittsburg st. The second, coming hours later just six miles north off Highway 2 at Woorland. For fire crews, the busy day was just beginning.
"While we were there, I could hear radio traffic saying that there was another one up the highway," said Spokane Fire District 4 Captain Megan Hill.
The third fire near Lauren rd. was the largest of the three. Fortunately no structures were lost, but now fire investigators are looking into what sparked the string of fires.
"The grass, the brush, is dried and cured and ready to go. Anything that's going to throw an ignition source out into that we want to avoid," said SCFD 9 Assistant Chief Doug Bleeker.
Cars and drivers can be a common ignition source, especially this time of year.
"Obviously cigarettes have got to stop coming our of windows and cars coming down the road," said Bleeker. "We've got to stop that."
Cigarettes are a more obvious threat, but vehicles towing trailers with old, worn out tires can be just as dangerous.
"They can blow pretty easily, and then, before you know it, you're dragging a rim along concrete, which creates sparks," said Hill.
Safety chains attached to trailers can also create sparks.
"The safety chain are trailers are really important, they need to be hooked up, and they can't be dragging," said Bleeker. If they're dragging, they're making sparks and throwing sparks off into brush on the side of the road."
Even parked vehicles can start fires.
"Your exhaust system under your vehicle gets exceptionally hot, and if you park that in the grass or in the brush, you will ignite that stuff underneath," said Bleeker.
If a vehicle starts a brush fire, the owner can be held responsible for covering the fire fighting costs.