Colville Tribes declare state of emergency due to area wildfires

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NESPELEM, Wash. — The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have declared a state of emergency due to several wildfires burning in the area.

The Reservation is closed to the public and to industrial activities, and an Industrial Fire Precaution Level IV general shutdown closes all forest roads. State and county improved roads, either paved or gravel, remain open.

The Chuweah Creek Fire has burned 10,000 acres—more than 15 square miles—in Nespelem, destroying homes and buildings, with the risk only increasing later this week as temperatures rise and gusty winds blow through the area.

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All tribal government operations in Nespelem are closed.

“Our priority is always the safety of all people on the Colville Reservation, and we will also protect property to the best of our ability,” said Chairman Andy Joseph, Jr. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people already impacted by these fires. We thank those coming on to our land to assist us in fighting these fires, and we appreciate the donations and offers for help that are already coming in. The need for action to protect our climate, and to mitigate the effects of climate change, becomes clearer with each passing year and each round of devastating fires.”

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