September 14, 2012 in City, Idaho

Smoke hangs over Spokane region

From staff reports
Jesse Tinsley photo

A fire burning on north Harvard Road is snarling traffic on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Map of this story's location

Smoke from a three-alarm wildfire on the north side of Spokane Valley has filled the air with an obvious haze this afternoon.

The fire was knocked down and under control as of 4 p.m., a fire dispatcher said.

Air quality fell into the moderately polluted category, but was starting to improve late this afternoon.

The fire burned earlier this afternoon along a ridge north of the intersection of Trent Avenue and Harvard Road and sent thick dark smoke into the sky.

Sixty-five personnel with 27 rigs from seven fire agencies fought the blaze, said Spokane Valley Fire Chief Mike Thompson.

The first alarm at 12:20 p.m. was followed by a second alarm at 12:39 p.m. and a third alarm at 12:52 p.m. It spread over about 12 acres and took two hours to control.

An unoccupied farm house and outbuilding were destroyed. A mobile home was saved, Thompson said.

No one was injured except for a firefighter who had a bad allergic reaction to a bee sting.

The fire was under investigation.

Northbound Harvard Road was shut down at Trent.

The National Weather Service said the smoky haze that’s settled over Spokane is from the local fire and not the wildfires burning to the west of Spokane near the Cascades.

A light northeast wind was reported this afternoon at Spokane International Airport, which pushed the smoke to the southwest down the Spokane River Valley.

To the south, a smoky haze has also settled over the Palouse region, but that smoke was coming from larger wildfires to the west and southwest.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email