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Fire crews working after evening flare up of Sunset Fire

Four engines and three hand crews are working to clean up the almost 14 acre Sunset Fire today.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Fire crews are still cleaning up and putting out the almost 14 acre fire that started Friday afternoon. 

The Sunset Fire's affected area covers a box of land. It goes from Sunset Frontage Rd. to Basalt Rd. to Greenwood Rd. to Russel Rd. 

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

"About an hour or so ago I said was about 25% mopped up," said The Department of Natural Resources Assistant Fire Management Officer Robert Boles.

Credit: Morgan Trau
DNR's Robert Boles works with team to mop up area

Friday night at 8 p.m. the fire was fully contained, he said. Now his team is working hard to clean up and put out the remaining fires. 

They are about a fourth of the way done, and the progress has been relatively steady, but last night a bigger fire grew.

"It was one of the trees we identified that could potentially be a hazard and that it could come down on its own," he said. "It must have probably hit a small pocket of heat and flared up through the needles that were still in the ground." 

"When trees burn at the stump, they can fall over" said firefighter Jeff Stebbins. "Then they can cause some issues."

Credit: Morgan Trau
Firefighters giving tour of the area

Luckily the fire went out pretty quickly, as firefighters were around and the tree landed in fine fuels so it burned itself out. But the fire teams are not actually done when the area is mopped up.

"Even once it's out we continue to do fire checks on the fire, to make sure it stays out," he said. "We'd have to do that consecutive at least three days, with no heat no smoke on it at all before I ever actually call it out."

The firefighters are hoping to be done mopping up by 9 this evening, but by tomorrow at the latest.