Fire in empty lot closes section of Mill Plain

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A large grass fire sparked on Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard near 182nd Avenue, in an empty lot about 10 blocks west of Lowe's, according to Kevin Murray, spokesman with the Vancouver Fire Department.

Around 8:23 p.m., all three east-side stations sent a water tender, brush rig and engines to the area, where they found a 200-by-80-yard fire on the south side of Mill Plain. The area was cleared off for construction several years ago, so no trees or structures were threatened by the fire, Murray said. Mill Plain was closed off between 172nd and 192nd Avenue.

Although the cause of the fire is unknown, Murray said a lit cigarette easily could have started the fire, and he warned against drivers tossing cigarettes out their car window.