Wildland urban interface fire

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Monday, August 5, 2013 at 6:48 p.m.

Narrative: On Monday, August 5, 2013 at 6:48 p.m., a total of four brush engines, under the direction of Battalion Chiefs Moline and Donahoe, responded to a brush fire that was upgraded from a single company response in the area of 2600 East Upriver. Firefighters arrived to find a column of smoke and 3-4 acres of light to heavy brush burning near apartment buildings. The incident started alongside the steep hill below the railroad tracks and just above North Crescent Avenue.

Although the fire was slow moving, the initial company quickly assessed the need for additional units due to there being three separate fires in steep and rocky terrain. As companies arrived, the additional personnel tied into the railroad right-of-way and were strategically placed on both west and east flanks halting the fire from its advance into adjacent multi-family homes. With relatively slow wind speeds, increasing relative humidity and cooler temperatures, firefighters were able to knock down the flames in less than one hour. The fire was completely extinguished with no threats to civilian or any structures.

Cause: The fires (all three) were accidental in nature and caused by a BNSF train traveling through the area moments before the fire was discovered.

Damage: Wildland only, no structures were involved. Total amount burned was 4 acres.

# Firefighters Responding: 14

Dollar Loss: $0

Other Agencies Responding: Spokane Police Department, BNSF