Firefighters gaining upper hand on Lake Spokane fire

Firefighters gaining upper hand on Lake Spokane fire

Firefighters are starting to get a handle on the Lake Spokane fire burning just south of Ford, with a fire line cut around the 900 acre blaze that covers an area north of Highway 291 and east of Highway 231.

Fire crews worked through the night to get a line around the fire and now they’re just making sure the wind doesn’t push any of the embers over it.

“You can see we actually still have a lot of heat in here, all it takes is one little tree torch or something like that and it can get across the line and away it goes,” Incident commander Bruce Holloway said.

Holloway said more than 100 firefighters are still on scene trying to contain the fire, which started Wednesday afternoon and spread from 25 acres to 200 in just an hour.

“This stuff is so dry, it just goes like gasoline,” Holloway said.

Fire officials said they have enough resources so if the fire does jump the line they can easily attack it. They’re using aircraft to put out spots and patrol for others.

Firefighters aren’t taking any chances, working to keep the fire southwest of Corkscrew Canyon Road, because if it jumps the road it has the potential to spread all the way north to Colbert.

“We had zero wind yesterday and the fire behavior was extreme, the potential is very very high,” DJ Goldsmith said.

Holloway added this serves as a good reminder that we’re in fire season and should take precautions.

“We still have about 60 days of active fire, unless we happen to get some rain. So the longer we go, the worse it’s going to get,” he said.

Fortunately the fire hasn’t claimed any homes – several dozen were threatened when it flared up Wednesday – and residents who were evacuated from their homes should be able to return home soon.