SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash--- People are getting ready to evacuate the Spangle area after a wildfire sparked level two evacuation alerts for the area.
The blaze overtook a hillside on Highway 195 north of Paradise Road. While crews battled the flames, people who lived nearby got ready to leave.
“We packed up and got ready to leave at a moment’s notice,” said local homeowner, Carl Van Etten.
His family lives north of Paradise Road and is among those facing the level two evacuation alerts. A level two evacuation alert means you should get ready to leave immediately but you do not have to leave yet.
Jenner Hatch is another person affected by the evacuation alert. She has more than 200 animals on her ranch and is the owner of Spokane Trail Rides and Boarding. She said when they saw the smoke they had to act quickly.
“We had all the trailers we needed and all the volunteers here in 15 minutes,” Hatch said.
She said they were ready to move the animals if the fire got too close.
“It is scary as heck when you have this many animals and this much responsibility…I have to be here 24-7 on alert as a ranch owner. It’s definitely nerve-wracking, fire is no game,” said Hatch.
Spokane County Fire District Three and other agencies were there to fight the flames, and it is taking hours.
“Winds on the fire and obviously higher temps and dry fuel so making containment slightly difficult,” said Fire District Three’s Chief Cody Rohrbach.
Crews brought in a helicopter and a plane to contain the flames, because the heat and dry conditions threaten everyone’s safety.
“We just do the best we can and just hope for the best and be careful,” said Van Etten.
Fire officials want to remind everyone to not fly drones near wildfires, because if drones are in the air then firefighting crews have to be grounded until the airspace is cleared. So you slow down firefighting efforts by flying drones over wildfires.