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Friday, July 11, 2008

Valley Fire


Well, as much as I didn't like the snow and the cold last winter right now I wish we had some of it back. If you have watched CNN you have probably seen picture of the Valley fire here in the Spokane Valley. It started just a couple miles from where I live. The photos were taken shortly after it was started.

It started Thursday afternoon as a small brush fire and firefighters were dispactched. It was fanned by 20 to 24 miles per hour winds with gusts up to 50 mph and quickly grew to a great big fire. At the same time there were 3 other fires within the city. One was a three alarm blaze at the Ugly Duck Liquidators on the north side of the city. The Ugly Duck sells high end doors and countertops.

About 140 firefighters and 40 trucks were sent to fight the Valley Fire, Evacuations were started and boundaries changed as the wind shifted and the fire quickly began growing southward. Helicopters were dispatched but could not fly because of the high winds. At one point embers from the fire started several small fires and friends and neighbors formed a bucket brigade to keep those fires from spreading into neighborhoods.

The Emergency Operations Center which coordinates gathering of extra resources opened, an Emergency Alert System was activated and the American Red Cross opened an information center and a shelter at one of the local high schools.

At about 9 PM the Governor of Washington flew into Spokane and declared a State of Emergency for Spokane County. She had just come from Wenatchee where there were two forest fires burning, one of which was contained and the other which had been contained but had jumped its boundaries. Also at the same time, there was a wind storm in Stevens County (to the north of Spokane County) that swept through the entire county causing fires, power outages and downed trees. A state of emergency was declared for those places also.

Approximately 200 people spent the night in the shelter and by Friday Morning the fire had grown to 1200 acres and destroyed 13 homes. It was only 10 percent contained. The winds had died down and air support was scheduled. Firefighters from across the state are expected to help fight this fire.

Losses and the costs of firefighting are expected to be in the millions of dollars.
Here are some other photos I snapped from my yard of the fire.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I am so sorry to hear about that fire. I live in CO where we have fires too and I will be praying daily about all the fires as well as the floods etc where people are suffering. I cannot imagine my home going up in flames and being unable to do anything about it.

Karon said...

Jen,
I sure hope you are OK. That's just a little too close for comfort.

I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Stay safe!
Hugs, Karon

Scott Gad said...

Jenny,

I am sorry to hear about the fires. I thought they were mainly restricted to southern California. Don't take any chances, be careful, and you will remain in my thoughts and my prayers.

Scott