Residents prepared for fire sparked near Cheney

Residents prepared for fire sparked near Cheney

A fire burned five acres near U.S. Highway 95 late Wednesday afternoon. Several houses were threatened but homeowners were ready if it came any closer.

When Mary Ann Klute saw smoke on the horizon Wednesday, it felt like deja vu. Their house almost fell victim to the Fire Storm of 1991, which left one dead and over 100 homes burned to the ground. Klute’s husband has been wary of wildfires since then.

“The fire burned all of our 15 acres and up to the edge of our house and killed one of our dogs so he’s been spending the last 25 years clearing the property, cutting down old trees, thinning new trees, trying to make this space defensible,” says Klute.

The U.S. Fire Administration says that’s a very good idea. They say the best way to keep your home safe are to create a 30 to 100-foot defensible barrier around your property, clear all flammable vegetation, remove all dead branches that extend over the roof and create a practice a home evacuation plan.

After today’s ordeal, Klute is glad her husband hasn’t left their safety to chance.

She adds, “every time he smells smoke he gets really stressed and we kind of tease him about it but now, he was right.”

Spokane County Fire Crews had the blaze out within hours.