Fire closes highway, prompts evacuations near Spokane

A wildfire closed part of a highway and prompted mandatory evacuations south of Spokane.

The Washington State Patrol on Wednesday afternoon reported a rapidly moving brush fire at State Route 195 near Excelsior Road. Officials said fire crews were at the scene, helicopters were dropping water and detours had been put in place.

Evacuations notices were impacting people living west of State Route 195. Spokane County Fire District 3 said on Facebook that law enforcement was going door-to-door to notify people of the evacuations.

Fire officials said the fire had burned 20 acres and was 50% contained by Thursday morning, KHQ reported.

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The Red Cross was planning to open a shelter at Jefferson Elementary in Spokane by 6 p.m. A location for animals to be sheltered is located at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.