The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag warning for the areas south and west of Spokane beginning at midnight Tuesday, with fast-moving thunderstorms and lightning expected through the morning hours.
Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are expected, which combined with lightning strikes creates the potential for naturally sparked wildfires in dry areas of the Columbia Basin, the Palouse and extending to the Washington-Idaho border. Storms also are expected to reach areas north and east of Spokane, including the Idaho panhandle, but the National Weather Service reports the fire danger there isn’t as severe as in sunsoaked areas of eastern and southeastern Washington.
The red-flag warning is scheduled to expire at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The cold front that will bring the storms overnight is expected to tamp down temperatures to near 80 in Spokane on Tuesday, following temperatures in the 90s during the afternoon Monday.
One large active wildfire is burning in Washington state, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The Little Camas fire near Cashmere has burned 324 acres since Thursday and is 34 percent contained.