Last Evacuations Lifted In Valley View Fire Zone

SPOKANE VALLEY – Authorities overseeing the Valley View Fire allowed homeowners to return to their homes in the last evacuation zone on Sunday morning.

The Level 3 evacuation area between Park and Dishman-Mica Roads and between 16th and 24th Avenues was reduced to a Level 2 evacuation.  This allows homeowners to access their homes with proper identification, and they still must be ready to leave quickly if the fire flares up again.

For some, there will be relief in seeing their homes in tact or with some damage.  Fore a few, it will be their first look at what is left of their homes and belongings.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies are manning roadblocks at 16th and Park, 16th and Old Farms Lane and 24th and Dishman-Mica Road.

Containment on Sunday evening was moved to 70 percent, as crews completed the firebreak around the fire and continued to put out hot spots.  A handheld infrared device called Thermovision has been brought in to help find hidden hot spots and direct crews to them.

It was announced on Saturday night that the cause of the fire was a backyard fire that was rekindled by the high winds, spreading hot embers into the nearby dry grass and timber.  A spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources said that there was a person of interest, but that the full investigation into the fire was still not complete.

More progress is expected to be made on Monday, as spot burns will be started to eliminate fuels that weren’t burned in the original fire.

There are 322 firefighters from 47 agencies helping fight the Valley View Fire.