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The fire had the potential to spread further, but firefighters surrounded it.

A two-alarm brush fire in forestland northwest of Banks threatened to spread but was ultimately knocked down by a rapid fire response Tuesday night, Sept. 4, according to the Banks Fire District.

The fire broke out in a "heavily wooded area" off Pongratz Road near Pihl Road, north of the Manning area, the fire district said. Banks firefighters and others, including private citizens with utility vehicles, were able to quickly surround the fire, which reportedly covered approximately three acres, and beat it back.

"The winds are high and the possibility for fire spread exists," the fire district warned in a statement released just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. "Citizens in the areas between Pongratz Road and Pihl Road are advised to start thinking about what you will take with you if evacuations become necessary."

As it turned out, residents were never advised to evacuate their homes. Just after 8:15 p.m., the fire district released an updated statement declaring crews had surrounded the fire and were working to contain it, a success it called "a positive step towards assuring that fire will not spread beyond its current boundaries." By 8:50 p.m., the fire was officially "recalled," meaning no additional units were expected to be dispatched and the brush fire was considered unlikely to spread further.

The Banks Fire District noted that access to the fire was difficult due to rugged terrain in the area. The fire district used all-terrain and utility vehicles, including one recently purchased with a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, as well as sending firefighters in on foot to battle the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

Pongratz Road was closed between Fisher and Pihl roads during the active fire response Tuesday night.


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