A home is not harmed after coming within five feet of being overrun by a wind-driven fire Tuesday afternoon in Orondo.

Six fire engines and 12 crew members were sent to the fire at 49 Skeels Road which had heavy smoke and flames.

Fire spokesperson Kay McKellar says it drew onlookers from close by U.S. Hwy 97 as it grew in size.

"It was pretty windy out there," McKellar said. "It was close to the road. It was close to a field. There were lots of people calling in, giving updates to the dispatcher.”

Firefighters say the fire grew to three acres and was burning through heavy sagebrush, building debris with chemicals at the sight.

The National Weather Service was forecasting wind gusts of close to 40 miles per hour at the time when the fire spread.

McKellar says crews had to react fast to keep it from becoming a bigger threat.

"It was just borderline being a wildland fire if it had continued to grow," said McKellar. "Luckily they were able to catch it"

The fire was handled by Douglas County Fire District 4 which was able to put it out in less than an hour.

Firefighters were sent in at 2:22 pm and had the fire out by 3:18 pm. Crews left the scene at 4:12 pm.

Ballard Ambulance was called in to standby in case of injuries, although none were reported.

The cause is under investigation.

McKellar said crew members had hoped to take photos of the fire to share on social media, but were preoccupied with keeping the blaze from spreading.

Counties with the worst droughts in Washington

Washington State is continuing its drought emergency into 2024, citing low snowpack and hot, dry forecasts. Here are the counties most affected by drought, based on data from the U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Washington with the worst droughts in the week leading up to April 30, 2024.
Note: "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought, but is included as a separate data point.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

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