CONTROLLED! Thursday, July 11, 8:00 p.m.
All three fires managed under the Independence Complex are now under control. Hard work coupled with favorable weather allowed the firefighters to reach their goals.
The demobilization process has already started. Some of the forces with shorter drives home will be released tonight. Most will be fed, rested, and sent home in the morning.
- Rattlesnake Fire - 600 acres. This man-caused fire is located 20 miles southeast of Keller in the Hellgate Game Preserve. It started on the Fourth of July on the north shore of Lake Roosevelt and was “controlled” by 6:00 p.m. on July 8th.
- John Tom Fire - 39 acres. This fire, located 3 miles southeast of Keller, was started by lightning on July 8 and was aggressively attacked by ground and air. Control was reached today.
- Highway 155 Fire - 163 acres. The Highway 155 fire was also “controlled” today. This fire started Monday afternoon (July 8) near State Highway 155 about 5 miles north of Coulee Dam and quickly spread uphill threatening several homes. The cause of this fire is under investigation.
Fire managers are not walking away from these fires. Management responsibility will be returned to the Confederated Tribes’ Mt. Tolman Fire Center on Friday. Local fire personnel will continue to monitor the fires for any hot spots that may show up.
The Type 3 Incident Management Team led by Buck Sylvester wishes to thank the Colville Indian Tribes, the Mt. Tolman Fire Center, and the communities affected for their support and encouragement this past week.
The Base Camp, which has resided at the Keller Community Center this past week, will be rapidly demobilized. Tribal Police are asking travelers to use extreme caution when travelling through the area and be watchful for emergency equipment leaving the area.