WA Reservation Fire Grows To 35 Squares Miles - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA Reservation Fire Grows To 35 Squares Miles

Posted: Updated:
NESPELEM, Wash. (AP) - A wildfire that began at 3 a.m. Thursday
has grown to almost 35 square miles and continues to threaten about
20 homes and 40 outbuildings on the Colville Indian Reservation.
The blaze grew Saturday by more than 6 square miles.
But fire information officer Karen Ripley reported Sunday that
nearly 500 firefighters made significant progress Saturday securing
containment lines around the Columbia River Road Fire. She
estimates the blaze was 15 percent contained.
Ripley says the firefighters have been aided by cooler
temperatures and scattered showers Saturday. The weather was in the
70s Sunday.
The firefighters were supported by water drops from three
helicopters and air tankers dropping water and fire retardant.
Ripley says bulldozers have cut fire lines around the threatened
homes and outbuildings, and their roofs have been watered down.
Fire lines surrounding the Whitmore Lookout have been reinforced
and the lookout is now being protected by fire engines. The lookout
was threatened by the fire Friday and Saturday.
The fire has been burning through steep, rocky terrain since
Thursday, burning through grass, sage and ponderosa pine forests
nine miles northwest of Nespelem (nez-PEE'-luhm). Ripley says the
cause of the blaze is under investigation.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)