(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)
Sheep Creek Fire began on Monday…
The Sheep Creek Fire, located five miles north of Northport has grown to 150 acres and a Type-3 Incident Management Team from New Mexico is organizing local resources to fight this fire. Local Stevens County, Tri-County and DNR crews are working on the blaze and as of 10 a.m. this morning had a fireline around 50 percent of the fire.
“This does not mean containment, but rather trying to keep the fire from spreading,” the Stevens County Emergency Management Facebook page said. “There are a lot of men and women working very hard to keep this fire from getting any worse. Luckily the only injuries have been bee stings and a couple cases of dehydration.”
Helicopters are being used to fight the fire while engines are on the ground. Washington National Guard resources are also being deployed for the fire.
County employs burn ban
Recreational burning is not allowed in Stevens County after Sheriff Kendle Allen enacted a county-wide burn ban on recreational burning. This includes small camp fires. BBQing is still allowed but you must have a water source within 25 feet and please keep the BBQ attended.
Governor declares state of emergency in Washington
Gov. Jay Inslee signed an emergency proclamation today for all 39 counties to ensure the immediate response of firefighting resources to protect people, homes, businesses and public and private property from the threat of wildfire.
“Catastrophic fires are burning up and down the West Coast, putting a strain on our firefighting resources,” Inslee said. “This proclamation ensures resources are ready to go at a moment’s notice to help protect our communities from another unprecedented fire season.”
Dangerous fire fuel and weather conditions exist throughout the state. The proclamation allows for assistance from the Washington National Guard, which routinely trains and certifies soldiers and airmen to fight wildfires. Already, the Department of Natural Resources has requested from the Washington National Guard the use of aviation assets, as well as 20-person hand crews to be deployed to Eastern Washington.
Under the proclamation, the Washington State Emergency Operations Center is instructed to coordinate all assistance to areas affected by wildfire. The EOC has already been activated to support DNR and the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office, which have been leading ongoing firefighting efforts.
To prevent wildfires, DNR recommends that the public refrain from using fireworks, starting campfires in prohibited areas, parking vehicles on grass and throwing cigarettes out of car windows. Residents can also ensure that brush and woody debris are removed from the perimeter of their homes.
More fire tips are available at www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfirePrevention.
17,400 acres burnt yesterday in Washington and Oregon
Large fires in Southwest Oregon and Central Washington on Tuesday. With minimal precipitation in the Northwest, 21 new fires cropped up yesterday and burnt 10,208 acres while existing fires burn 7,191 acres. For continued reports on fires click here.