Weather, Hard Working Crews Beat Back 7800 Acre Powerline Fire
According to information released by Incident Commander Tony Gilmer, the Powerline Fire near Mattawa has been mostly contained, and no structures lost.
The blaze was first reported about four miles north of Mattawa, near Vantage. Winds pushed the fire up to the east towards the Saddle Mountain area, and Road 23. The report says it came in at about 12:38pm.
Level 1 and 2 evacuations were issued but no buildings were lost, and ten power poles that were burned have since been replaced by Grant County PUD crews. Monday saw cooler cloudier weather with no wind and a little rain. Fire crews, who numbered about 90 total, were able to establish a larger, stronger fire line, and then begin to work back to contain. A total of 200 firefighters battled the blaze on Sunday initally.
These bigger lines were tested Monday night by breezes, but the fire did not jump. It's now at 65 percent containment and that number is growing. Many crews will be released Tuesday as the fire is well under control. No one was injured and no buildings or structures were seriously threatened or lost.
This is the second major fire in the Vantage, Mattawa general area in less than a few weeks. The Powerline Fire is thought to have been started by two motorcycle riders who likely set off dry sagebrush from hot exhaust pipes.