Smoke on the water in Moses Lake Thursday

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  • Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald A Moses Lake firefighter sets a fire on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

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    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald A Moses Lake firefighter sets a fire on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

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    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake firefighters battle a small blaze on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

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    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake firefighters battle a small blaze on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

  • Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald A Moses Lake firefighter sets a fire on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

  • 1

    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald A Moses Lake firefighter sets a fire on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

  • 2

    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake firefighters battle a small blaze on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

  • 3

    Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake firefighters battle a small blaze on the island where SR-17 crosses Crab Creek.

MOSES LAKE — A fire swept through a small island on Moses Lake off state Route 17 Thursday afternoon where Crab Creek feeds into the lake, necessitating a response from the city fire department, Grant County Fire District No. 5, the Washington State Patrol and the Moses Lake Police Department.

Though the cause of the fire has not been determined with absolute certainty, fire officials suspect that a homeless encampment’s campfire in the middle of the island may have sparked the blaze.

The fire began at the middle of the island, limiting access for fire crews. Though two firefighters waded through the water to bring hoses to attack the fire directly, the majority of responders surrounded the island, waiting for the fire to approach the shores before spraying it down.

Much of the brush on the island was reduced to char and ash, and one northbound lane of state Route 17 was closed to provide space for first responders to work. Firefighters with the Moses Lake Fire Department were spread across two fires during this time, as crews responded to a small industrial fire in the Randolph Road area.

Although the fire was largely contained to the island by the surrounding waters, it did jump at least once to the western shore in the direction of homes. Crews promptly contained the spread, said Fire Marshal Derek Beach, and the fire was declared clear shortly after 2 p.m.

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