Wildland-Urban Interface Fire

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Monday, August 3, 2020 at 12:57 p.m.

At approximately 1:30 PM, Firday, July 31, SREC-911 received multiple calls for a reported wildland-urban interface fire near 49th and Regal Street. Based on the Automatic Aid Protocol, companies from both the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) and Fire District 8 (SCFD8) responded as the closest career-staffed units. 

As the fire companies arrived, they discovered a rapidly growing wildland fire driven by 10-20 mph sustained winds in dry grasses and light brush. The fast-moving fire in light fuels spread directly to ladder fuels as the fire transitioned to large trees. The trees torching and crowning carried the fire dangerously close to nearby apartments, commercial buildings, and parked vehicles. 

Due to the risk of the urban-interface and the explosive growth of the fire, additional companies were immediately ordered from the SFD and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for assistance. 

The fire service resources on the incident successfully contained the fire to approximately three acres of wildland-urban interface land. Additionally, the threatened structures were successfully protected by SFD and SCFD8 structural fire engines. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. Unfortunately, the intense heat did damage an SFD fire apparatus, an apartment building's exterior vinyl siding, and ancillary fire equipment.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the SFD Special Investigations Unit. The structures and contents saved by fire service action are estimated to be over 40 million dollars. The damage to the apartment building and apparatus is estimated at less than $40,000.