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Recreational fires defy ban

Spokane Valley firefighters responded to five recreational backyard fires from Aug. 8 to 14, despite a burn ban being in effect.

“Even with the recent rain we had, it’s still really dry out there,” said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford.

The fires will continue to be illegal until the burn ban is lifted.

The rain on Aug. 9 also brought several calls for blown transformers and downed power lines.

Crews responded to four yard-waste fires during the week. Those types of fires are illegal year round, Clifford said.

A garage fire was reported just after 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 9. The cause is still under investigation but it is thought to be related to the electrical system, Clifford said. The fire caused $50,000 in damage.

A smoldering campfire was reported in the area of 500 South Dishman Road during the week. Firefighters have been called to that area several times over the past few weeks for the same reason, Clifford said. “Somebody’s got a camp going there,” he said.

Crews responded to a total of 222 calls during the week, 165 of them were emergency medical service calls.

Firefighters were called to Wagon Wheel Mobile Home Park at 16502 E. Sprague Ave. for an unusual problem the afternoon of Aug. 10.

“They had a sinkhole in the asphalt,” Clifford said.

Crews estimated that the hole was 5 feet deep and 8 or 9 feet wide, he said. A construction crew was called in to set up barricades around the hole until a fix could be made.

“Nobody fell in,” Clifford said.