Please take every precaution during this severe wildfire emergency

Coulee Hite fire i
The Coulee Hite fire in early August threatened more than 50 homes near Spokane before it was contained. Photo courtesy of Fire Chief Nick Scharff, Spokane Fire District 10

With firefighting resources stretched and more unstable weather, including gusty winds, moving into the state’s eastside, we can’t say it enough times: Please be extremely cautious and take every available precaution to protect your families, pets, and treasured possessions from wildfires during this current emergency. That includes taking evacuation orders and emergency directions with the utmost seriousness and doing everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Under the current weather conditions, fires are developing quickly. If you feel endangered by an approaching fire: evacuate immediately. Please resist the temptation to hunker down and fight fires and please do not wait for firefighting resources that may not be immediately available. And don’t forget the “P’s of Preparedness if you are asked to evacuate:

  • People
  • Pets
  • Papers (important documents)
  • Phone numbers
  • Prescriptions (medications and glasses)
  • Pictures (and other mementos)
  • PCs (for the info stored on them)
  • Plastic (credit cards, cash)
  • Planning
This is a time to be smart, be safe, and get out of harm’s way. Buildings can be rebuilt – but nothing can bring back a loved one.

Weather conditions heighten wildfire risk

All of eastern Washington is under a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service. The service also forecasts winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph across northeast Washington, including the Methow Valley and the Okanogan Valley. The area includes the several counties where more than 1,000 firefighters are battling 10 large wildfires that have burned more than 120,000 acres.

For information about current wildfire incidents, go to the Incident Information System website.

Also, stay connected during wildfire season through DNR’s Fire Twitter: http://twitter.com/waDNR_fire.