SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash — One of the most disastrous weather combinations is very low relative humidity, high temperature, strong wind, and an impending cold front. That's what Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says is a perfect fire storm.
"That's what we're kind of worried about is tomorrow, that's gonna be a big deal - a really, really, really big deal." said Schaeffer. "As the day goes on, those winds are going to increase and definitely make the fire weather much more dangerous."
Wildfires are common this time of year, but urban environments can see the same risks. Dropping power lines can cause a fire, which moves to buildings, houses and neighborhoods.
We know you cannot prevent the wind from knocking down a power line, but you can follow this list to help you be as safe as possible.
"Make sure that you're ready and make sure that your property is safe," he said.
- Make sure that your lawn is watered
- Make sure that your area around your home is clear of debris that you have that 30 foot space around you.
- And then lastly, make sure you're just situationally aware and make sure you are paying attention to the fires in the area.
In case of evacuations, remember, ready, set go.
Level one - Preparation.
Make sure personal documents, government IDs and cash are ready to go including pet food. Additionally, have enough to live for 72 hours.
Level Two - Notification
You need to be able to leave your property at a moment's notice.
Level three - Evacuation
Pick up your stuff and get out.
"Oftentimes when we get to level three, that chaos ensues and people are trying a lot of people are trying to leave at the same time," said Schaeffer. "So the best place to be is definitely proactive."
There is currently a burn ban in Spokane County, so firefighters are not expecting to see any man made fire. They still want to remind you that using fire in potentially dangerous ways is subject to criminal enforcement.
"So we're just asking for the public's assistance to please defer any of those type of activities and be very careful using any type of fire within this next 24 to 48 hour period," he said. "It's going to be just right for fire becoming an explosive event."
The firefighters use the app PulsePoint.
It has direct connection between the fire department and you, so you can monitor what's going on in the system. You can see where the fires are, they can send alerts if they need to evacuate specific areas or if they need to notify you of specific risks that are impending into your area.