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Dog Falls fire fully contained

A fire that started earlier this week on the Washington side of the Gorge is all but out, according to fire officials.

The Dog Falls fire, located above Highway 14 near milepost 59 to the west of Dog Creek in Skamania County, burned 5.25 acres and was still smoldering as of Friday morning, but was at 100 percent containment, according to Bernie Pineda, a public information officer for the fire.

The fire, which was within the Columbia River National Scenic Area, caused the U.S. Forest Service to close the popular Dog Mountain Trail and the Augspurger Trail due to safety reasons. USFS announced Thursday morning that the trails had reopened.

Helicopters carried buckets of water from nearby Drano Lake and dumped them on the blaze while crews, including a 20-member hotshot team out of Entiat, Wash., busied themselves constructing fire lines. All total, Pineda calculated that 55 people had worked on the fire, including the hotshots, local forest service crews, and pilots.

While the steep terrain and the high winds made fighting the fire difficult at times, Pineda reported that the arrival of rain Thursday evening, which was forecast to last through Friday evening, helped considerably with firefighting efforts. He added that management of the fire had been turned over to local crews.

As of press time, Pineda did not have a total cost of the fire available, and the cause of the fire was still undetermined.

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