Crews secure line around N. Mill Creek Fire

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  • (Courtesy photo) A view of the North Mill Creek Fire area near Colville, Wash.

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    (Courtesy photo)A view of the North Mill Creek Fire area near Colville, Wash.

  • (Courtesy photo) A view of the North Mill Creek Fire area near Colville, Wash.

  • 1

    (Courtesy photo)A view of the North Mill Creek Fire area near Colville, Wash.

Firefighters have been able to complete and secure a fireline of the North Mill Creek Fire on Monday near Colville, Wash.

Crews gridded the unburned area adjacent to the fire and, upon finding three small spots smoldering, were able to quickly control them, Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team officials said. Mop-up operations continued throughout the day with measurable progress, with sawyers cutting down trees determined to be hazardous.

“All of this hard work resulted in a 100% containment level,” incident commander Tom Merritt said in a press release Tuesday.

While the fire is contained, that doesn’t mean control, Merrit said.

“Containment means that control line has been completed around the fire and any associated spot fires,” he said in the press release. “This line can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread. There is still work to be done before the fire is considered controlled.”

For the fire to be considered under control, the line around the fire and any spot fires must be complete and any unburned areas adjacent to the fire side of the control lines must have eliminated through burn-out operations. In addition, he said all hot spots posing immediate threats to the control line must be cooled down to ensure the lines will hold.

Merritt said crews were expected to assess hazard trees on Tuesday with crews working to mitigate potential threats as they work their way through the fire area. In addition, crews will continue their mop up and rehabilitation efforts, he said.

Currently the main objective is to complete rehabilitation of the fire before transitioning the fire back to U.S. Forest Service.

Roads closed due to the fire are North Fork Mill Creek, Middle Fork Mill Creek, Rocky Creek, and Bestrom roads. There are no evacuations associated with the fire.

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