Valley View Fire 50% Contained; Feds Helping Out

SPOKANE VALLEY – The Valley View Fire is now listed at 1,000 acres as federal funds have been released to help crews fight the blaze.

The fire is currently 60 percent contained, and a firebreak has been completed around the perimeter of the burned area.  Officials expect that number to increase as crews continue to mop up.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announced on Saturday morning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had agreed to pay for 75 percent of the state’s costs in fighting the Valley View Fire.  She said in a statement that the federal funds will help fire crews have all the resources necessary to continue to contain the fire.

Crews from 47 different agencies are helping out in fighting the fire, with 322 firefighters battling the fire.  The state took over command of the fire efforts on Saturday morning.

According to Dale Warriner with the Department of Natural Resources, no evacuees stayed at the Red Cross shelter at University High School on Friday night.  The shelter will remain open through Sunday evening for anyone who needs it.  SCRAPS closed the shelter for animals at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center on Friday night, as all animals were picked during the day.

There are still barricades set up at 25th and Thierman Lane, 16th and Park Road, 16th and Old Farms Road and 24th and Dishman-Mica Road.  There are still 200 people who are still out of their homes, with no word on when they will be able to return.  Some people are being allowed to go to their homes, but only with photo identification and with an escort from authorities.

The Red Cross has put their shelter at University High School at 32nd and Pines Road on standby, meaning the shelter is closed but can be reopened at a moment’s notice if needed.