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A helicopter works on the Northrup Canyon Fire outside Grand Coulee.

Updated, 11 a.m. Sunday

GRAND COULEE — Crews are mopping up the Northrup Canyon Fire near Grand Coulee and evacuation levels have been lowered. 

The fire started Thursday and is 65% contained and estimated at 252 acres, according to the Southeast Washington Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team 2.

The brush fire on Saturday was believed to be 442 acres, but the size estimate was reduced after improved mapping, the team said in a news release Sunday.

Steamboat Rock State Park and Highway 155 near Northrup Canyon are open.

All areas previously under under Level 3 — leave now — and Level 2 — be ready to leave — evacuation notices are now under Level 1 notices — be aware.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. There are no reports of damaged structures.

The incident management team expects to transfer command of the fire to local crews Monday.

10 a.m. Saturday

GRAND COULEE — Highway 155 has been reopened outside Grand Coulee in the area of a brush fire.

The Northrup Canyon Fire has burned 442 acres and is 20% contained, according to the Southeast Washington Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team 2, which is leading fire operations.

The fire started at about 5 p.m. Thursday along Highway 155 near milepost 18 and Northrup Canyon. There are no reports of damaged structures.

Crews worked to establish containment lines Friday and on Saturday will continue to build lines and improve existing lines, the team said in a news release Saturday morning.

Residents and visitors may see plumes of smoke in coming days as fire reaches unburned patches of vegetation within the fire perimeter.

One home is under a Level 3 evacuation notice — leave now — and 40 are under Level 2 notices — be ready to leave — but officials will reevaluate evacuation levels Saturday afternoon, the release said. There are no Level 1 notices — be aware.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

6 p.m. Friday

GRAND COULEE — A brush fire six miles south of Grand Coulee has prompted evacuations for nearby homes and closed Highway 155.

The fire started around 5 p.m. Thursday in the area of Northrup Canyon next to Banks Lake and was estimated Friday afternoon at about 300 acres, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. There are no reports of damaged structures.

Grant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kyle Foreman said 40 homes near Jones Bay south of Electric City are under Level 2 evacuation notices — be ready to leave — and one home in Northrup Canyon is under a Level 3 notice — leave now.

An incident management team was taking command of fire operations Friday evening, Foreman said.

Highway 155 is between Steamboat Rock State Park and Electric City. Some Steamboat Rock campers evacuated by heading north and are looking to retrieve their belongings, Foreman said. He said that they can do so by accessing the park from the south.

Pete O'Cain: (509) 664-7152

ocain@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter@peterocain