Federal money pledged toward Lake Spokane firefighting costs
Federal authorities will help bankroll the cost of fighting the Lake Spokane wildfire that’s already charred hundreds of acres across Stevens County.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency early today approved the state’s request for help, noting that the fire is burning out of control and poses a major threat. The decision makes federal funding available to cover up to 75 percent of the costs of fighting the fire, which is burning about 50 miles northwest of Spokane.
Federal authorities noted that about 400 people already have been evacuated as the fire threatened nearly 160 homes in the area of Ford, Washington.
Fire officials said today that they’ve been able to get a trench around the flames but are worried the fire could break the lines this afternoon when winds pick up. So far, no structures have been lost.
According to FEMA, there were about 200 firefighting personnel on scene, 20 engines, three helicopters and two bulldozers. Four additional strike teams, air resources and a Type 2 Incident Management Team has been requested to assist in the effort.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as additional information becomes available.