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'It got there quick': Nespelem community forced to evacuate as 11,000-acre fire is burning in town

The Chuweah Creek Fire/Joe Moses Road Fire has already claimed 14 structures, seven of which were homes.

NESPELEM, Wash. — The fire burning in Nespelem has already claimed 14 structures, seven of which were homes.

The Chuweah Creek Fire/Joe Moses Road Fire has burned 11,000 acres, according to Kathy Moses with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.  

KREM's Amanda Roley and Nicole Hernandez talked to homeowners and community members on Tuesday who witnessed the fire or lost their home.

One family stayed behind to protect their house while the fire burned near. Edward Wolfe and his uncle scrambled to turn on whatever hoses and sprinklers they could get a hold of.  

The two quickly watered down the roof of their house and the lawn. Wolfe said the livestock on the property have kept the grass cut low. The fire still came within ten feet of the house.  

"Once it once it started moving across the flat part, it got there quick," Wolfe said.

On Tuesday they were able to return to their home and it they said they were grateful that it was left untouched by the flames.

"We have a big family and that house is important to a lot of people. They're all really grateful and thankful as well. I'm glad me and my uncle were able to hold it down," Wolfe said.

One couple made it out just before the fire hit their house. Monte Piatote and his wife grabbed their pets then watched the fire burn their home. 

"I told my wife I told her watch then boom there it was, pretty quick," Piatote said.

Monte said watching it happen was awful. He has lived in that house since he was a kid.

The structures lost in the Chuweah Creek Fire/Joe Moses Road Fire include seven homes  — four that were unoccupied and three that were occupied  — and seven outbuildings.


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