Crews standing down after Eureka fire contained

The grassland fire scorched more than 21,000 acres in the northern part of Walla Walla County.

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During the fire fighting efforts on Saturday of the brush fire near Eureka Firefighters from Spokane County Fire Company 9 Cory Newman and Steve Harms put out some hot spots. 8/8/10

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Firefighter Cory Newman takes a break while working on the fire near Eureka, Saturday afternoon. Newman and others left their fire station in Spokane midnight on Friday and have been working at the fire since they arrive 8:30 Saturday morning. 8/8/10

EUREKA, Wash. -- Fire crews were standing down today after quelling a blaze that burned about 34 square miles in northern Walla Walla County over the weekend.

The fire began Friday night and burned about 21,260 acres between Lyons Ferry Road and the Snake River. About 185 firefighters from across the state, 40 engines and a helicopter were called in to battle the blaze, which burned wheat stubble, grass and sagebrush.

A machine shed and a shop facility were burned, but firefighters were able to save homes, outbuildings and other structures. No injuries were reported.

"The fire is contained and basically we're de-mobilizing," Brandon Lewis, operations section chief, said this morning. "We're transitioning back from the (state) mobilization team to the home team."

Firefighters had hoped to contain the fire by Friday night, but on Saturday morning dry conditions and strong winds caused the fire to go out of control again.

Firefighters were also hampered by the steep terrain and lack of roads, which limited access to the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, officials said today.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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