In brief: Family safe from fire; dogs perish
A Post Falls family made it safely out of their burning home Thursday morning, but the family’s pets did not.
When Kootenai County Fire and Rescue crews responded about 3 a.m. Thursday, they found a fully involved garage fire that had spread to the house at 1467 Havichur Loop in Post Falls.
The homeowners, Jason and Erin Wyatt, and their two children got out on their own but realized Erin Wyatt’s mother, Judy McKeana, was still trapped inside. Jason Wyatt and a neighbor broke a basement window and pulled McKeana to safety when the stairway became blocked by fire and smoke, fire officials said.
One family cat was also rescued, but the family’s three dogs were found dead inside the home. Another cat is still unaccounted for, according to a fire department news release.
No damage estimate was available, but there is extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the main floor of the home, officials said.
Investigators determined the fire started in a plastic container that held discarded ashes in the garage.
Federal judge rules for state on wolves
A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to refuse to turn management of gray wolves over to the state of Wyoming.
Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne, Wyo., on Thursday ordered the federal agency to consider again whether Wyoming’s wolf management plan would be adequate to meet federal recovery goals for wolves.
Environmental groups and others have criticized the Wyoming plan for specifying that wolves would be classified as predators that could be shot on sight in most areas. The Wyoming plan would protect wolves only in the northwestern part of the state.
Concerns over Wyoming’s plan recently prompted a federal judge in Montana to strip Idaho and Montana of their authority to manage their own wolf populations.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission plans to discuss the implications of Johnson’s ruling on Dec. 8, spokesman Mike Keckler said.