Washington News

Friday, June 22, 2018

Firefighters jump from training to action in north Spokane County

Theoretical and hands-on training for first responders in north Spokane county immediately turned to application on Wednesday when a wildfire broke out near Chattaroy. Firefighters from across the region are meeting this week in Deer Park for the third annual Interagency Wildfire Training Academy. The goal of the academy is to provide specialized training, and connect different agencies in the area and assist them in collaboration. On Wednesday afternoon, the academy was employing a helicopter for field training when they spotted the wildfire near Chattaroy from the sky. Trainees on the ground joined local agencies in responding and used the helicopter to attack the fire.

Fire damages Federal Way church

A Tuesday morning fire at Brooklake Church caused an estimated $150,000 worth of damage to the exterior of the building. South King Fire & Rescue Captain Jeff Bellinghausen said there was no damage to the inside of the building, 629 S. 356th St. The fire was most likely caused by a cigarette butt left on the bark outside the church, Bellinghausen said. The fire was determined to be accidental, he said. The awning over the entrance to the church caught fire, and the sprinkler system was able to keep the fire contained until the firefighters could get there, Bellinghausen said. The carpet inside may need to be replaced from possible smoke damage, and repairs are needed in the entrance area, but there was no severe fire damage inside, Bellinghausen said. The church is still in operation.
Federal Way Mirror

Police seek suspects in suspicious Kennewick fire

Police are looking for suspects who started a suspicious fire in Kennewick. Kennewick police said Wednesday a fire erupted in a field behind 1011 North Cleveland Street. Kennewick firefighters put out the flames. Fire crews say there was some window damage to a home, but there were no reports of anyone getting hurt. The fire is under investigation for arson and police said they suspect some juveniles started the fire. Anyone with information on who started this fire is asked to contact the Kennewick Police Department at 509-628-0333 for case 18-22937.

Discarded cigarettes cause fire at Yakima apartment

Firefighters say discarded cigarettes left on a cardboard box started an apartment fire Thursday morning. Yakima fire crews responded to an alarm around 8:50 a.m. at the Beech Street Apartments and found a fire contained to a third floor deck of one of the units. Firefighters are crediting the sprinkler system from keeping the fire from spreading to the attic which could have caused major damage. They say a person living in the apartment had been smoking out on the deck and thought they had put the cigarette out, but later heard a loud pop and smoke coming from the sliding door at the deck. Firefighters want to remind people not to put out their cigarettes in planters as plant soil can ignite.
KIMA-TV CBS 29 Yakima

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fire crews prevent large fire in Kittitas County from threatening town of Vantage

Fire crews were able to contain to a large fire burning north of Interstate 90 in Kittitas County from threatening structures in the town of Vantage. The so called Mile Post 22 Fire began Wednesday evening at around 5 p.m. two miles north of Vantage and has grown to about 5,000 acres Thursday morning, said Jim Duck, operations coordinator at the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center of the Department of Natural Resources. Level 2 evacuations – meaning be ready to leave at a moment’s notice – were ordered in Vantage, though Duck said the town is likely out of danger. About 150 firefighters from multiple fire agencies were able to contain the southern and western breaches of the fire Duck said, but the fire is continuing to spread northward away from the town and interstate. So far, no structures have been lost and no injuries have been reported. State fire resources were also tapped Thursday morning, which brought in multiple engines and fire teams to help build fire lines.
Spokane Spokesman-Review

Benton County Fire District 4 Chief fields unusual questions about ballot measure

Benton County Fire District 4 is asking voters to consider a bond to build and equip a station (including another ambulance) and replace three fire engines that are approaching the end of their usable lives. The station would be in the western part of the fire district’s service territory. Surprisingly, Chief Bill Whealan says that questions he receives about the proposal aren’t cost-related. (The bond would be approximately $7 per month for the owner of a $300,000 home.) In general, people want to know how an additional station will improve service district-wide. “People recognize that population has increased and we need to maintain emergency service levels,” said Chief Bill Whealan. “The questions we are receiving are completely different than past ballot measures.”

2-alarm fire burns through Tacoma hotel

It took a second alarm to summon enough crews to knock down a fire Wednesday afternoon at a hotel in Tacoma's South End. Crews were dispatched about 3:45 p.m. to the Howard Johsnon, 8726 S. Hosmer St., for a report of a fire on the second floor, Tacoma Fire Department spokesman Joe Meinecke said. The fire was contained by about 4:45 p.m. The fire burned up into the attic of the hotel in Tacoma's South End, Meinecke said, prompting firefighters to call for a second alarm. The building has 20 units, and all occupants have been displaced, Meinecke said. It was unclear whether all 20 units were occupied.
Tacoma News Tribune - Metered Site

Yakima County: Cowiche Canyon fire threatens home, destroys old shop

An old shop was destroyed after a brush fire sparked in Yakima County. Firefighters were called out to Cowiche Canyon Road Wednesday after reports of a fast moving brush fire. When they arrived, they said the flames were heading towards several homes near City Reservoir Road and Windcrest Drive. Firefighters said winds were blowing strong which created "erratic fire behavior." Additional crews were called in to help battle the blaze. An old shop was destroyed before crews arrived on scene and burned between 40 to 50 acres. Firefighters Yakima Training Center, Kittitas County Fire District #1, Selah, East Valley, West Valley, Naches Heights, Gleed, Toppenish, Granger, Sunnyside and all on duty Yakima Fire crews were at the scene.

Woman falls 100 feet down cliff at I-90 Vantage scenic view

Firefighters from Grant County Fire Districts 10, 11 and 3 and the Bureau of Land Management rescued a woman in her 60s who fell over 100 feet down a cliff at the I-90 Vantage scenic view area Wednesday evening. She was taken to Quincy Valley Medical Center. The Grant County Sheriff's Office says she was conscious and talking to rescuers when she was pulled out. It's not clear at this time how the woman fell. Firefighters from fire districts 10, 11 and 3 and the Bureau of Land Management rescue a woman in her 60s who fell over 100 feet down a cliff at the I-90 Vantage scenic view area this evening. She was taken to Quincy Valley Medical Center by Protection One ambulance. pic.twitter.com/Z0ThkkZopi
KXLY4 News

Firefighters work with helicopters in Chattaroy at fire training academy

Fire season has already made its mark on the Inland Northwest and now, crews are getting ready for the heat of summer. Dozens of firefighters took training to new heights Wednesday. As part of the Eastern Washington Interagency Fire Training Academy, crews worked to load rigs onto a helicopter during a 16-hour course. Operations chief Jim Walkowski said while they weren't putting out fires, loading rigs is still an important part of the job. "The crew is tasked with basically the safety of the aircraft, in this case, the helicopter and then secondarily, making sure all the operations on the ground are being performed safely," Walkowski said.

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