Grant County Sheriff's Office
Map shows evacuation alert areas for the Grass Valley Fire.
As of Sunday, August 12, 2018
UPDATE: Highway 174 has reopened.
UPDATE: Areas in Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam previously at Level 3 have been downgraded to Level 2 and those at Level 2 now are at Level 1.
GRAND COULEE – Grant County has issued Level 3 (get out now) evacuation alerts for portions of Grand Coulee and the portion of Coulee Dam within Grant County because of the Grass Valley Fire.
A portion of Grand Coulee is under a Level 2 (be ready) evacuation alert.
All areas with alerts are on the west side of the Columbia River.
State mobilization was authorized Saturday afternoon, Aug. 11, at the request of Douglas County Fire District No. 5 Chief Tyler Caille.
A Red Cross shelter is at Wilbur High School.
The fire began at 11:24 a.m. at Sims Corner near the intersection of highways 17 and 172 in the Mansfield area. It is burning in grass, brush and timber. It had burned across around 1,000 acres of land when mobilization was authorized.
The fire cause is under investigation.
Three wild land task forces and a Type 3 management team were ordered.
Initial response was from Douglas County fire district Nos. 3 and 5. Okanogan County Fire District No. 8 (southwest reservation), Grant County Fire District No. 14, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, state Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Bureau of Land Management also responded.
At one point the fire was 12 miles wide and, fanned by winds, was moving fast. It was estimated Sunday morning at 45,000 acres.
“Most of the time, all firefighters could do was to defend homes and buildings, and push the fire around the building, then try to get ahead of it and defend the next building,” said a Sunday announcement from the Type 3 team.
Highway 174 is closed from Grand Coulee to Leahy Junction.
One injury was reported.
An air attack was conducted early Saturday, but was abandoned later in the day because of windy conditions – aircraft could no longer scoop water from the Columbia River and did not have a good view of the fire.