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Beacon Hill Fire human caused

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 02 2012 10:59:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2012 12:32:59 PM CDT
Crews fighting three-alarm fire on Beacon Hill
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane fire investigators say a fire on Beacon hill was human caused.

The fire started around 5:15 p.m. Fire departments were preparing for something like this with the red flag warning, bringing in extra crews in case a major fire broke out.

"The fuel/moisture content that we have is very similar to what it was in 1991 for the Firestorm, and the same content for the Valley View fire," Spokane Valley Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford said.

Fire crews from Spokane to the valley and the Department of Natural Resources worked to contain the flames.

"This is what we call a 20/20 day, where we have winds greater than 20 miles per hour and humidity below 20 percent. When we have 20/20 days, that's when we've had most of the major fires in Spokane County," Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams said.

Firefighters battled strong winds and steep terrain. Planes dropped water from above to keep it from spreading to nearby homes.

"Now we've got fire trucks sitting right beside those structures, so we have structural protection units that we focus on. We do everything possible to keep those homes safe," Chief Williams said Tuesday evening.

Winds drove the fire across the hill and ultimately down it. Firefighters were able to catch up there, because they say flames won't travel as easily downhill. Crews were released as humidity rose and gusts died down.

As of Tuesday at 10:45 p.m. the fire was 100 percent contained, and all the homes in the area are safe.

Some fire crews have been sent home, while others will remain on scene through Wednesday.

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