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Friday, August 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 Years Ago in the Inland Northwest: Crews battle wildfires, respond to record number of alarms

Firefighters were mustering all over the region and being sent to the hot spots. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
Firefighters were mustering all over the region and being sent to the hot spots. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Forest fires went “on a rampage” through the Inland Northwest after thunderstorms rumbled over the mountains.

In the past 24 hours, a dozen fires ignited in the St. Joe and Priest River areas. The lightning strikes came after weeks of hot, dry weather.

Firefighters were mustering all over the region and being sent to the hot spots. Some fires had already been extinguished by quick action, but at least one in the upper St. Joe River area had already grown to 200 acres.

In a related story, the Spokane Fire Department reported that it had received 259 fire alarms in July, the most ever recorded in Spokane. The city’s long hot spell was again to blame, with most of the fires being grass or brush fires.

From the accident beat: Gertrude Brewer, 31, died at Sacred Heart Hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. She had been in the process of packing the rifle in a trunk when it accidentally discharged.

Police said they had cleared her husband of any possible blame.

From the diamond beat: A Spokane woman accused someone of stealing her $1,000 diamond ring in the changing room or checkroom of the Natatorium Park “Plunge.”

A few hours later, another woman – who had seen the story in the Spokane Daily Chronicle that afternoon – spotted the diamond ring on the floor of the building, right outside of the checkroom.

The diamond ring was returned to its owner.

A Nat Park spokesman said it “cleared our reputation,” besides making the owner happy.

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