mount tolman

ELMER CITY – A wildfire north of town had burned across nearly 3,500 acres of land by mid-day Monday, June 24.

The fire started about 3:47 p.m. Sunday, June 23, about 4.7 miles north of town. The cause is under investigation.

Initial suppression efforts included building bulldozer lines to tie in with existing fire lines and structure protection, said Mount Tolman Fire Center. Aerial support included five fire bosses, two air attacks and two type 2 helicopters, while the ground attack included three 20-person crews, seven engines, three bulldozers and two type 2 tenders.

Firefighters dealt with wind-driven fire in grass, sage and bitterbrush. A combination of dozer and hand line was completed, but hot spots remain within the fire area. As of Monday, the blaze was 60 percent contained.

On Monday, crews planned to continue patrolling the fire and putting out hot spots, said a fire center announcement.

A Level 3 (get out now) evacuation notice was issued for residents of Rebecca Lake HUD housing and Buffalo Lake, but the notice was lifted. Rebecca Lake and Buffalo Lake roads were closed, but later reopened. There are no road closures in the area.

The Colville Confederated Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, NEWICC, state Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and local fire districts cooperated. Mount Tolman Fire Center transferred management of the fire to the Northwest Incident Management Team 3 on Monday evening. Incident command is at the Nespelem Community Center.

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