Fire crews in the Inland Northwest will be on high alert Wednesday as hot, windy and dry conditions arrive in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and parts of Montana.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Weather conditions will be “ripe for new fire starts” across the Inland Northwest and Central Washington, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ryan Rodruck said.
The department is staging air and ground units across the state to be ready for new fires , he said. There had been 14 new fires between Monday and Tuesday, he said.
Winds are expected to blow from the west Wednesday, with gusts up to 30 mph, and shift northwesterly Thursday and northeasterly Friday, bringing smoke from all over the region into the Spokane area, National Weather Service meteorologist Laurie Nesbit said.
“We’re very much asking for the public’s help and their diligence in this period of weather to keep those sparks off the landscape,” Rodruck said. “It’s a lot easier to fight a fire in the initial attack if it doesn’t start in the first place.”
Here’s a look at some of the fires already burning in the area:
Boulder Mountain fire
The Boulder Mountain fire, 9 miles northwest of Cusick, Washington, had reached 1,241 acres Tuesday and remained at zero containment.
The fire was burning in the Colville National Forest on state, federal and private land. There were no evacuations. The Boulder Mountain fire started on Aug. 31.
Seven Bays fire
The Seven Bays fire, 15 miles northwest of Davenport, was at about 1,000 acres and remained uncontained.
All evacuations for the fire were called off Tuesday afternoon, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Guy Gifford said. The Seven Bays fire began on Sunday.
The Kootenai River complex fire reached 12,487 acres on Tuesday.
Several fires that began in Boundary County over the last few weeks have contributed to the fire. There are no evacuations for the fire.
Farther south, the Moose fire, near Salmon, Idaho, reached 107,523 acres. The fire was 44% contained as of Tuesday.
A small fire broke out near the entrance to Fairchild Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon, the base announced in a news release.
The fire was reported around 12:45 p.m.
The cause of the brush fire was unknown.
KHQ reported Tuesday evening that the fire was 10 acres and not threatening any structures.
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