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Citizens Ask Grant County To Fund Canyon Creek Fire Investigation


Dean and Betty Elliott look over the remains of their charred house. The Canyon Creek Fire destroyed their home of 53 years.

Dean and Betty Elliott look over the remains of their charred house. The Canyon Creek Fire destroyed their home of 53 years.

Amanda Peacher/OPB

More than 100 Grant County citizens packed a meeting Wednesday to encourage an independent, county-funded investigation into the Canyon Creek Complex fires.

The August fire destroyed 43 homes and damaged at least 50 other structures. Many in Grant County said they’re still reeling from the blaze.

Some Grant County residents contend the U.S. Forest Service didn’t act fast enough to suppress the fires early.

The Forest Service points to severe weather conditions that caused fire to spread uncontrollably. The agency has provided detailed descriptions of suppression efforts, but many who testified at the meeting demanded an investigation of the agency’s efforts.

Grant County leaders ultimately decided not to spearhead such an investigation, saying that it would be expensive and time-consuming.

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