Firefighters strengthening lines around Watermelon Hill fire

Gallery: Watermelon Hill fire

Several dozen firefighters are continuing their efforts to strengthen the lines around the Watermelon Hill fire outside Cheney Monday.

According to Chuck Turley with the Department of Natural Resources, crews made substantial progress Sunday and the fire, which estimated to be about 11,000 acres, is 40-percent contained.

Fishtrap Lake Resort remains at a Level 3 evacuation, while all other previous evacuation notices for the fire have been downgraded to Level 1.

Approximately 300 personnel are working on the fire Monday, including 17 engines, four water tenders, six 10-person hand crews and three 20-person hand crews. Agencies involved in the firefighting efforts including DNR, Bureau of Land Management, Spokane County Fire District 3, Lincoln County Fire District 1, Washington State Patrol and deputies from both Spokane and Lincoln County Sheriff’s offices. The fire is being supervised by Washington Incident Management Team Five.

The fire, which is located seven miles southwest of Cheney, started Saturday afternoon near Fishtrap Lake. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.