August 25, 2012 in Washington Voices

Valley Fire official: Remember the burn ban

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to 230 calls between Aug. 16 and 22, a relatively busy week, since they usually receive 180 to 215 calls.

“A busy week and pretty active,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

Of those calls, 18 were fires, nine of which were for either illegal burning or burning in an approved fire pit while a burn ban is in effect.

Clifford said he wants to remind residents the burn ban is in effect and often remains so through September and sometimes into October.

This year, the area saw a pretty wet spring, so the burn ban went into effect a little later. By early July the weather had changed with high winds and low humidity.

“It’s dried things out pretty rapidly,” Clifford said.

Clifford said if residents have any questions, they should visit www.spokane valleyfire.com, or call the department at (509) 928-1700.

Mako the arson dog helped investigate a garage fire Monday in Spokane at 633 S. Greene St. Clifford said Mako had a couple of hits for accelerants, and the investigation is continuing.

There were four reported brush fires, including one on Aug. 18 at 7108 N. Harvard Road in Newman Lake.

Spokane Valley Fire assisted Fire District 13 and the Department of Natural Resources. It was about an acre in size and was quickly extinguished.

There was another brush fire a half mile east of Argonne Road on the north side of Interstate 90, and a report of smoke in the area of 20120 E. Lincoln Road. Nothing was found.

The fourth brush fire was reported at 7224 E. Fairview Ave. Clifford said there was an illegal burn in the backyard – someone was burning wood scraps in a barbecue. He said the homeowner was educated about fire safety.

There were 10 building alarms, “nothing out of the ordinary,” Clifford said.

There were four vehicle fires and two responses to hazardous materials.

On Monday, someone called because a line on their barbecue from the propane tank was leaking. Clifford said this is easily fixed, as long as the line isn’t on fire.

“You just turn the valve off,” he said.

The other hazmat call was Sunday, when an unknown substance leaked on the road near Forker and Progress roads.

There were 20 motor vehicle collisions, which sent eight people to the hospital.

On Aug. 18, a suspected drunken driver attempted to pass another vehicle a half mile west of Starr Road on Trent Avenue. The car hit an approaching vehicle head-on. Clifford said there was a person in each vehicle and it took crews about an hour to extricate each one.

Both were taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries and Trent was closed for several hours while deputies investigated.

There were three service calls. One was a call to assist the Sheriff’s Office with a blood draw of someone suspected of driving under the influence. A male homeowner was locked out of his house and crews came by to let him inside and two children were locked inside a vehicle.

Clifford said they responded to nearly 170 emergency medical calls. Normally, he said, 70 to 78 percent of the calls are for medical emergencies.

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