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Steptoe Canyon Fire grows to 1,000 acres in Whitman County

The fire is threatening homes, rangeland, agricultural crops, and Bonneville Power Administration resources, according to Washington State Fire Marshal's Office.
Credit: Whitman County Fire District #14

STEPTOE, Wash. — A 1,000-acre fire started burning in Whitman County at 2:15 a.m. on Wednesday, according to CBS affiliate KLEW TV.

Fire Crews from Whitman County, Asotin County Fire District #1 and City of Clarkston are currently on scene. 

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Steptoe Canyon Fire located in Whitman County, near the town of Colton. The fire is currently burning in grass and brush. 

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on Wednesday at 6:00 a.m. at the request of Fire Chief Jay Reisenauer of Whitman County Fire District 14.

This fire is estimated at 1,000 acres and growing. It is threatening homes, rangeland, agricultural crops, and Bonneville Power Administration resources. Level 1 evacuations are in effect at this time. The fire cause is currently under investigation.

Whitman County Fire District 14 asked people to avoid the area and roads of Stepote Canyon Rd and Wawawai Rd.

According to Asotin County Fire District #1, the first fire crews on scene prioritized saving structures from burning.

An approximately 700 acre wildland fire broke out early this morning near Steptoe Canyon about 10 miles west of...

Posted by Asotin County Fire District #1 on Thursday, July 22, 2021

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray will remain partially activated at Level 2 to help coordinate state assistance for the Steptoe Canyon Fire. Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered three strike teams and one hand crew. 

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but lightning from Wednesday morning is suspected because of the location.