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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Firefighters respond to several illegal burns

A burn ban is in place that makes bonfires and fires in fire pits illegal, but that apparently hasn’t stopped people from lighting a match.

One of several illegal outdoor fires responded to last week by the Spokane Valley Fire Department was a bonfire built on the shore of the Spokane River near the 16600 block of East Indiana Avenue on Sunday. A resident in a nearby apartment building saw the family building the fire and called it in.

A bonfire in a fire pit on the beach at Liberty Lake near the 200 block of South Molter Road was reported on Saturday.

In cases of illegal fires, firefighters help put out the flames and provide information on what is allowed during a burn ban, said department spokeswoman Melanie Rose.

Unusually hot and dry conditions have led to a burn ban put in place a month earlier than last year, said Rose.

“It’s very dry, very hot, very dangerous to be doing this type of recreational burning,” Rose said. “If that fire starts another fire, they’re liable for whatever happens.”

Other calls from June 15-21

June 15: A motorcycle crashed on the curve near the 5300 block of East Sprague. The rider’s left leg was significantly injured. A backhoe hit a natural gas line in the 5000 block of South Jackson.

June 17: A bucket of rags used for staining spontaneously combusted in the 5600 E. Alki Ave. The bucket had been placed outside a mobile home but the fire did not spread.

June 19: Firefighters helped Spokane County Fire District 8 with a car fire that spread to a garage in the 5000 block of East Glennaire Drive. Crews assisted Spokane County Fire District 9 and Spokane Fire with a water rescue at Boulder Beach. A 19-year-old man was recovered from the bottom of the Spokane River and later died.

June 20: A small balcony fire was reported at 6813 E. Second Ave. Someone had tried to put out a lit cigarette in a potted plant. Potting soil is flammable.

June 21: A passerby called in smoke and flames coming from a home in the 4200 S. Chapman Road. The house was being renovated and a bucket of rags used for wood staining had been left in the basement. The rags spontaneously combusted. Crews assisted District 8 with the fire. A small attic fire was reported in the 10500 block of East 43rd Court. An improperly installed electrical outlet started the fire.

By the numbers: Firefighters responded to 311 calls from June 15-21, including 220 calls for emergency medical services. The calls included 16 brush fires, 28 car accidents and a broken water line.

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