Brush Fire From Fallen Tree
Incident #: 2013019596 Date of Incident: 05/09/2013 Issuing Officer: Bruce Moline/Battalion Chief
On Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 4:17 P.M. the Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of a power line problem in the vicinity of South Loop Ave. Engine 6 from their West Plains station location on Spotted Road was the crew responding and found a series of brush fires burning on a hillside off of 16th ave. between Milton and Grandview. They also discovered a downed pine tree that was blocking 16th entirely that was still in contact with power, phone and cable lines. Engine 6’s size up included the request for additional resources which the dispatcher sent immediately. A primary focus was to protect a home that sat immediately above one of the fires racing up a steep slope. Engine 6 took this assignment while other crews were beginning to flank the fire from below in order to contain it. Their flanking actions consisted of knocking down flames with water and foam, cutting off the head of the fire, digging fire line by hand and then finally, mopping up all the hotspots that remained. Meanwhile, Engine 6 was busy stringing hose lines to adequately protect the home and other homes further up the slope should the fire get past them. Due to the hard work of the fire crews, the fires were all kept very small. In all there were a total of 4 separate fires. The largest was 2/10 of an acre followed by one that was 1/10 of an acre. The other two fires were classified as “spots” in size. Total area burned was approximately 4/10 of an acre. The Spokane Fire Department Special Investigation Unit along with the Avista Company is currently investigating the fire and origins of the fallen tree. At this time, the cause is attributed to a tree that was purposely fallen. The tree contacted numerous power, cable and phone lines which caused a series of arcs igniting the nearby grass and brush fuel. Damage from the fire is limited to wildland brush, grass and timber fuel. Avista is assessing damage to their equipment. Avista will also be working through the night and into the early morning hours attempting to restore power to the neighboring areas. Fire crews will be patrolling the area throughout the night to make sure hotspots are completely extinguished.
Arcing from power lines after a tree was fallen directly into the lines.
Damage to Avista's power lines and support structures. Damage to CenturyLink equipment and Xfinity equipment. Brush fire damage was confined to wildland grass and brush and natural cover and habitat. Total acreage burned is estimated to be 4/10 of an acre from a total of 4 fires. Dollar loss below is a rough estimate only.
# Firefighters Responding: 20
Dollar Loss: $ 50,000
Other Agencies Responding:The Avista Company
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