Soap Lake Wildfire Goes to State Mobilization

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Soap Lake

SOAP LAKE, WA.- Homes were evacuated in the Soap Lake area last night as a wind-whipped wildfire rips through the area. The Soap Lake Fire started late yesterday afternoon about five miles North of town. The blaze has blackened over 14-hundred acres of grass and brush. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources earlier this morning after a request by Grant County District 7 Fire Chief Kirk Sheppard.

Soap Lake
Map of fire area and evacuations

The fire threatens homes, agriculture and infrastructure in the area. Level 2 and 3 evacuation orders are in effect. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The City of Soap Lake is not threatened. The Sheriff reports only homes in the East side of State Route 17 in the rural areas north of town are in danger.

State Fire Mobilization Authorized for the Soap Lake Fire

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Soap Lake (High Hills) Fire, located approximately 5 miles north of Soap Lake in Grant County.  The Soap Lake Fire is burning in grass and brush. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on June 12, 2018, at 12:45 am at the request of Fire Chief Kirk Sheppard, Grant County Fire District 7.

NOTE: The fire has been referred to with multiple names, including the High Hills Fire and Milepost 81 Fire. Soap Lake Fire will be used from this point forward.

The Soap Lake Fire started on June 11, 2018.  This fire is estimated at 1400 acres, and is threatening homes, agriculture and power infrastructure in the area.  Level 2 & 3 evacuation orders are in effect at this time.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered engines, aircraft and hand crews.  The fire will be managed by a Northeast Washington Interagency Type 3 IMT.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray is activated to a Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Soap Lake Fire.  State Fire Marshal’s Office personnel are en route the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident.  The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.  More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at:  www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm.