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Sunset Fire near Spokane Airport caused by spontaneous combustion of debris pile

Crews on scene of the fire burning on West Sunset Frontage Road. All previous evacuations have been lifted.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Fire confirmed Friday evening the Sunset Fire near the Spokane International Airport was caused by the spontaneous combustion of old debris piles.

All evacuations have been lifted for the brush and timber fire burning near the Spokane International Airport.

The Sunset Fire started on West Sunset Frontage Road near South Grove Road around 12:45 p.m. It's about two-and-a-half miles away from the airport. 

KREM's Morgan Trau said the fire is burning 10-20 acres as of 1:15 p.m. on Friday. Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the fire is 75% contained at last check. 

State Mobilization crews were called in to help fight the fire at the request of the Spokane Fire Department.

Evacuations ranging from Level 2 to Level 3 were in place for multiple roads, including Sunset Frontage Road, Basalt Road, Greenwood Road and Russel Road, were lifted on Friday afternoon.

Fire crews on scene said about 25 homes were evacuated. Residents were notified with help from the Spokane's alert system, Washington State Patrol, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and the Spokane Police Department, Schaeffer said. 

More than 100 firefighters and six different agencies are responding to the fire.

“We’re blessed that we didn’t have any structures that were lost today," Schaeffer said. "That was 100% due to the courageous actions of the firefighters and the aircraft that were here. These two in tandem are really what saved lives today. We need to make sure that trend continues.”

KREM 2 photojournalist Al Lozano saw four seaplanes and two helicopters dropping water on the fire. 

Fire crews will likely be on scene for the next 72 hours to ensure that the fire is kept in check and 100% contained, Schaeffer said. He also expressed concerns about high heat and dry lightning in the forecast over the weekend. 

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The cause of the Sunset Fire is unknown at this time.