Spokane deals with threatening wildfires
Spokane is the latest city in the Pacific Northwest to experience concern over uncontrolled wildfires.
Parts of the Washington State City has been threatened due to a growing trend of wildfires that have burned through brush, forest and grassland amid 37 C plus (100 F-degree) heat.
Saturday, northwest of Spokane just off on Highway 395 to Chewelah, a 325 hectare blaze remains uncontained. Fifty homes have been evacuated, and a Red Cross shelter has been established at a high school in Springdale to help residents.
That fire started on Friday, and remains under investigation.
An official said the wildfire has burned two homes and six outbuildings and was moving northeast into industrial timberland. Smoke could be seen for miles as steady winds blew eastward.
There is also a fire near Williams Lake, north of Colville.
The fire had died down significantly by Friday night and is estimated at about 115 hectares by Saturday.
The Williams Lake Road turnoff is a shortcut frequently used travelers from Canada heading to Spokane via the Waneta or Patterson boarder crossings.
Hot, dry weather is impacting stream flows said the State of Washington Department of Ecology.
Statewide, temperatures are running 20 degrees above normal and Western Washington has had record low precipitation since April. Almost 70 percent of Washington’s rivers and streams are running at below 10 percent of normal flows.
The frequency and intensity of wildfires is expected to increase with the hot temperatures and little to no precipitation predicted for the summer of 2015.