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Man burns American flag blanket, starts wildfire in Washington State

"No matter your political views, we think it's safe to say we can all agree starting a wildfire is no good!" Grant County fire officials said.
by Tim Stelloh /

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A man burning an American flag blanket in Washington State on Memorial Day weekend started a 5-acre wildfire, officials said Monday.

In a Facebook post, Grant County Fire District 13 said no structures were damaged in the blaze.

Image: Ephrata, Washington, wildfire
Fire crews respond to a 5-acre wildfire in Ephrata, Washington, which authorities say was started by a man who was burning a U.S. flag blanket.Grant County, Washington, Fire District 13

"No matter your political views, we think it’s safe to say we can all agree starting a wildfire is no good!" the post said.

It wasn't clear whether anyone was arrested. An Ephrata police sergeant said Monday night that he couldn't immediately comment or release a police report.

Isaac Merkl of Fire District 13 said the fire — which mostly burned sage brush — could have been much larger had the weather not cooperated.

"Any sort of wind and that would’ve been a totally different story," he said, adding that the point of the district's post was to "get in front of people's face — anything can start a fire."

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