Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 39° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Fire near Long Lake slows as night falls

July 31, 2015 Updated Fri., July 31, 2015 at 8:51 p.m.

A fire reported near the 28000 block of West Long Lake Road around 5 p.m. rapidly grew to 400 acres by 8:30 p.m. Earlier estimates that the fire had reached 600-700 acres may have been skewed by the heavy smoke, said Department of Natural Resources spokesman Guy Gifford. “We are making good progress,” he said. “It’s not running as quickly as before.” Firefighters are putting a dozer line around the south end of the fire and the flames stopped at the Spokane River on the north side, Gifford said. The fire is approaching irrigated fields to the east. “We’re looking to stop it at the fields,” he said. Residents between the 23000 and 28000 block of Long Lake Road are under a Level 3 evacuation notice, which means they have been urged to leave, but Gifford said that should be lifted around 9 p.m. Long Lake Road is still closed to traffic. About 16 homes are threatened. One structure has burned but Gifford said he didn’t know if it was a home or an outbuilding. Multiple agencies have responded, including five water tankers and five helicopters. “Pretty much everyone in Spokane County has sent resources,” Gifford said. Gifford said people are reporting falling embers that are creating spot fires. There is an unstable air system in place that allows the smoke column to go very high in the air and create a chimney effect, Gifford said, which sucks embers up from the fire that can drop more than a mile away. Therese Lally lives in Nine Mile Falls, across the Spokane River from the fire. As she sat on her deck Friday evening, she noticed embers beginning to drop in her yard. “There was one that was the size of a quarter,” she said. Lally and her husband have been discussing watering down their roof. “I’ve got my sprinkler on right now because of it,” she said. “The roof I’m a little worried about.” She said she hoped the fire would be stopped by the river. “It’s pretty thick smoke,” she said. “The sky is orange. It’s creepy.” Stevens County Fire District 1, which covers the area just north of Long Lake, has brought on extra crews and is patrolling their side of the lake to look for spot fires.
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.