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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire roundup: Burn ban lifted but burning yard waste, construction debris, trash continues to be illegal

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 22, 2020

The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building shown at 2021 N. Wilbur Road .  (The  Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane Valley Fire Department Administration Building shown at 2021 N. Wilbur Road . (The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Local fire departments, including the Spokane Valley Fire Department, on Monday lifted the burn ban that has been in effect for weeks due to the reduced risk of fire. That means people can again roast marshmallows over backyard fires and make s’mores. Burning trash, yard waste and construction debris, however, continues to be illegal.

But no matter the time of year or the weather, house fires are still an issue. A resident near Sargent and Valleyway reported their roof was on fire at 7:15 a.m. on Oct. 15. Everyone was able to evacuate the home safely and crews saw smoke coming from the roof line and roof vents when they arrived.

The fire was quickly put out and the cause was traced to an electrical issue in the attic. The Red Cross responded to give assistance to the two residents and their two cats due to the damage to the home.

Other calls Oct. 12-18

Oct. 12: A crew noticed a column of smoke along the shore of the Spokane River in the vicinity the Centennial Trail footbridge near exit 299 on Interstate 90 at 9:33 a.m. The crew hiked down the trail until they found someone burning an illegal warming fire. The person was uncooperative, and the sheriff’s office was called while firefighters put out the fire. A possible illegal fire was reported in the backyard of a home in the 900 block of North Woodruff at 12:22 p.m. The homeowner was burning yard waste and was told to put the fire out.

Oct. 13: A tree was reported to be hitting a power line and leaning over the road in the 4500 block of East Eighth Avenue at 4:22 p.m. The road was closed, and Avista was notified. A downed tree was reported in the 3900 block of South Bowdish at 4:35 p.m. The tree had taken a power line down with it. Inland Power was notified. Branches were reported to be hitting a power line causing arcing, and a fire in the area of Garland and Euclid avenues at 5:31 p.m. The branches were wet down, and Avista was notified.

Oct. 14: The sheriff’s office requested help getting into a school building in the 1500 block of South McDonald Road that had a broken window at 4:09 a.m. A natural gas leak was reported in the 17300 block of East Coach Drive at 1:40 p.m. A man reported that he was helping a neighbor remove a tree that fell during the wind storm and noticed the smell of natural gas near a gas meter that had been struck by the falling tree. Avista was notified. A car crash was reported in the 20600 block of East Happy Trails Lane at 6:37 p.m. The vehicle hit and damaged an electrical box and a fire hydrant.

Oct. 15: A fire alarm was reported at Katerra in the 19200 block of East Garland Avenue at 9:56 a.m. A newly installed heating unit caused the fire suppression sprinkler system to go off. There was no fire. Someone reported a house fire in the 4300 block of East Fifth Avenue at 5:34 p.m. The resident was working in his yard and told firefighters there wasn’t a fire and his pellet stove smokes a lot when it is first used.

Oct. 16: Crews responded to a report that the front end of a car was run over by a trailer on Broadway Avenue near the Flying J truck stop just off I-90 at 8:08 a.m. No one was injured.

Oct. 17: A possible illegal fire was reported in the 2900 block of North Sargent Road at 11:21 a.m. The homeowner was burning pine needles in a fire pit, which is illegal. A single car crash was reported at the end of Oakmont Lane at 10:52 p.m. The vehicle was on its top, and the driver had to be extricated before being taken to a local hospital.

Oct. 18: A caller reported hearing an explosion and seeing smoke east of the Shogun restaurant at 5:50 p.m. Crews found evidence that a firework had been set off.

By the numbers: Crews responded to 353 calls the week of Oct. 12-18, including 276 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 14 car crashes and an oven fire caused by rolls left inside the oven when the self-cleaning mode was activated.

Nina Culver can be reached at

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