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Uncontrolled Wildfire Surrounds Spokane

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Northwest Interagency Coordination Center
The Hart Fire burning 50 miles northwest of Spokane

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the Hart Fire burning 50 miles northwest of Spokane has destroyed 11 primary and secondary structures and continues to burn uncontrolled on both sides of the Spokane River.

A mandatory evacuation notice is forcing residents out of their homes in the small town of Wellpinit -- the heart of Spokane Indian Tribe country.

Two other separate fires make up what officials are now calling the Spokane Complex, which have burned a combined 4,200 acres. Mandatory evacuation notices remain in effect both north and south of the city.

Seven miles northeast of Spokane, a fire on Beacon Hill destroyed residential structures overnight, but how many remains unclear. Some residents spent the evening moving livestock to shelter at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.

A downed power line started a second blaze 12 miles south of the city near the community of Spangle Sunday afternoon. Structures have also been lost to that fire.

The state fire marshall has mobilized resources, but firefighters are limited due to the number of fires burning in such close proximity.