COULEE CITY, Wash. - There are lightning-caused wildfires. There are wildfires sparked by human negligence. And then, of course, there are the wildfires started by flaming grasshoppers.
A grasshopper that jumped on an electric fence and was incinerated was the culprit behind a fire that broke out Sunday on the Colville Indian Reservation, said Roland Emetaz, spokesman for the Central Washington Area Team, the area's wildfire coordination agency.
''The grass is very dry in this country,'' Emetaz said. ''Any ignition and you've got a fire.''
The fire, about six miles northeast of Grand Coulee Dam, had spread to 3,500 acres by Monday. No buildings, other than a few sheds, were threatened. About 50 firefighters, six bulldozers and several engines were at the scene, and six additional crews were being brought in Monday, Emetaz said.