Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spokane Wildfires

The area where we live (Spokane Valley, just east of Spokane proper) is currently under alert due to an out of control fire that encompasses over 1200 acres and is known to have destroyed 6 homes at this point. It's on the other (south) side of the highway (I-90) from us, so right now we're not in danger, but we've had the TV on for the last few hours watching the news and keeping updated. The governor even flew into the city this evening to see the damage and has officially declared a state of emergency for Spokane Valley.

A large area has been evacuated and several shelters have been set up at local schools for displaced residents. You can see the area affected  on this map:

I haven't heard an official specific cause for the fire starting, although the winds have been crazy all day and have helped it spread. Apparently the wind also downed some power lines (our power went off and on atleast 4 times today), and that the downed lines started additional fires.

The winds have died down a bit, and the temperature is dropping, and the word is that the fire isn't spreading near as fast right now. While they're expecting it to flare up in the morning, hopefully we'll see more fire crews showing up tomorrow, and the governor was also talking about a Chinook helicopter being available for use.

I'm not particularly worried at the moment, since the fire would have to get past the highway before it'll be near us, but it is still growing and it's still anybody guess as to how far it'll get before it's contained. If by some chance it does end up affecting our neighborhood, we'd most likely head out of town and stay with Jenny's parents in CdA. Hopefully it won't come to that....

More information can be found here:

Edit -

Last count was 13 homes destroyed, but so far no injuries or fatalities. The fire has slowed and the evacuation area has shrunk - some people have been allowed to return to their homes, although they're still on alert for possible re-evacuation.

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