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No, it wasn't a helicopter crash

August 15, 2011

Photo courtesy of Franklin Pemberton

Crews battled steep terrain, gusty winds and heavy timber on the Rogers Mountain fire last Thursday on the Colville National Forest (CNF).
Localized thunderstorms created wind gusts and aggressive fire behavior Thursday afternoon on the fire line, pushing the Rogers Mountain fire to 90 acres.
“We know it was human caused,” said CNF spokesman Franklin Pemberton. “But the exact cause is still under investigation.”
Pemberton quelled rumors that the fire was caused by a helicopter crash last Tuesday.
“By the time KREM 2 News called us, it had gone from a helicopter crashing to a guy who claimed he had actually seen it (the helicopter) go down and start the fire,” Pemberton said. “What happened was a helicopter contracted from a third party by the Forest Service had its check engine light come on and it had to make a cautionary landing. But there was no crash and no one was hurt; it was an incident unrelated to the Rogers Mountain Fire.”
Despite dry conditions and gusty winds, firefighters with the assistance of aircraft, have checked a portion of the fire’s progress southwest of the south fork of Rogers Creek.
*See the complete story in the 8-17-11 edition of the S-E.

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