Solid line around Monument Hill Fire

8am UPDATE Friday

Crews worked overnight on the Monument Hill fire, improving fire lines and mopping up hot spots.  Fire Information Officer Megan Hill said crews plan to do similar work Friday to make sure the fire is no danger of spreading.   A cold front is expected to pass through the area this afternoon, and crews are on high alert for fire danger.  The State Mobilization teams will be ready to support local crews should something break out in the area.

There was active fire within the perimeter of the Monument Fire Thursday with a significant smoke column visible and air resources were called in.  A solid line was established around the fire by the end of shift Thursday afternoon.  Hill now reports three homes, several outbuildings and farming equipment has been lost in the fire.  Grant PUD crews have been working to replace up to 3 miles of damaged power poles east of Adams Road along Road 13-NW

photo courtesy GCSO

There are about 120 people assigned to the fire with brush engines, water tenders, dozers and helicopters or airplanes available if needed

6pm UPDATE

A large column of smoke could be seen today as winds switched directions in the morning and ignited some unburned fuels in the north edge of the fire. Firefighters continued an extended attack on that section of the fire, and fire managers called in two firefighting airplanes and two helicopters to help put out those flames. The size of the fire is still estimated at 5,000 acres and is 40% contained.

Grant County PUD worked on Road 13 replacing multiple burned power poles; power continues to be out to many in the area. Road 13 has remained closed east of Adams Rd while crews are working.

Two residences were destroyed by the fire, as well as multiple outbuildings, vehicles, and farm implements. No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

11am UPDATE

The Monument Hill fire near Quincy is now close to 5-thousand acres and 20% containment according to the latest estimates.  Information Officer Megan Hill said approximately 100 personnel on the lines today are concentrating on hotspots before heavy winds redevelop on Friday.  That includes six wildland strike teams and two dozers ordered under a State Mobilization to assist local firefighters   “That is the goal is to get it wrapped up so that the winds don’t affect it tomorrow.  We’re just now getting a handle on what we have to work with so we’re getting people on every edge of the fire”

Hill said there are still hot spots burning within the perimeter of the fire including power poles.  Road 13-NW is closed east of Adams Road where Grant PUD crews are replacing damaged utility poles but the closure only affects local residents.

photo courtesy GCSO shows one of many downed power poles

Hill said this morning, the fire estimate was about 1,500 acres but the figure is now closer to 5,000 and could be revised later Thursday.  She did not have information on the location of the damaged structures including one home and several outbuildings.  The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reports there have been no injuries.  The fire was reported last night about 7pm and the cause is under investigation

Original Post 7am

As many as 80 homes were evacuated last night in the Monument Hill area near Quincy and Ephrata due to a fast-moving brush fire. Kyle Foreman with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office says crews were fighting heavy winds in their efforts to get the blaze under control.  Foreman said firefighters worked to protect homes and buildings in the area but winds were blowing up to 25mph in heavy brush and grass but one home and several outbuildings were lost in the fire.

A level 3 evacuation order was lifted early this morning for residents in the Painted Hills area who were allowed to return to their homes but the area remains under a level one alert. Under a State Mobilization order, specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered six wildland strike teams and two dozers.

The fire was reported about 7pm Wednesday night.  The fire had grown to at least 500 acres in sage, grass, and crops when Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources  at 10:00 pm at the request of Fire Chief Don Fortier, Grant County Fire District 3.

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