TUESDAY UPDATE, 8/23/16: SPOKANE, Wash. - People can now start to return to their homes on Tuesday night after all the evacuation levels were downgraded to Level 1 for the Yale Fire in the Valleyford and Freeman area.

Officials battling the Yale Fire have provided an evacuation map on Tuesday to better provide clarity on which need to be ready.

The Yale Fire is under Level 1 evacuations for Washington Road to Belair to Connor Road, East to Larkin Street and Darknell Road to Jackson Road to Elder Road on south end going west to Valley Chapel Road to Stoughton to Weger and back to Washington Road. The Yale Fire was sparked by power lines that were taken down by a tree. It has estimated 3,500 acres have burned.

Greater Spokane Emergency Management is seeking information from Spokane County residents and businesses that have suffered damage or losses due to the Yale Road and Wellesley fires. They are asking owners, renters and businesses to go to their website and fill out damage assessment forms. The information will be used to identify unmet needs and seek appropriate assistance through community resources to those who qualify.

Original Story:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Wellesley Fire and Yale Fire are now being referred to as the Spokane Complex Fire, officials announced Monday.

The Wellesley Fire began Sunday and burned at least 300 acres. Officials said the fire is 100 percent lined and on Monday afternoon, canceled all evacuation orders for the Wellesley portion of the fire.

Officials said two homes have been lost, as well as five to ten outbuildings. The fire threatened homes, power lines, crops and timber.

More than 220 hand crews and eight engines were on scene to put out the fire on Sunday. The U.S. Forest Service said they put in an order for air help Monday morning.

The second part of the Spokane Complex Fire originated in Spangle and was burning around 4,000 acres as of Monday, forcing level 3 evacuations. Fire officials said the fire is not contained as of Monday evening.

Mandatory evacuations were in place for following areas:

Area 1:

North: Valley Chapel Rd and Rock Creek
East: Just East of Forsland Rd.
South: Latah Creek Rd.
West: Just North of Yale Rd. where Valley Chapel Rd. comes to a Y

Area 2:

North: Paradise Rd.
East: Just East of Madison Rd.
South: South of Elder Rd.
West: Elder Rd. before it heads North towards California Creek

The town of Freeman is also under Level 2 evacuations. Officials said 10 homes have been lost so far and others are threatened. . Crews said the fire was sparked by power lines that were taken down by a tree. Highway 27 has reopened.

More air crews were called in to help fight the flames and protect the city of Valleyford.

State mobilization crews also responded to assist with the fire. Fire districts 3, 8, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Natural Resources and the Red Cross are on scene working to put out the flames. Crews were working on the fire lines Sunday night. More than 200 firefighters are at the fire with more than expected to arrive in the next few days.

Officials said the majority of the fire is in the hills of the Palouse.

A command center for the fire has been set up at Beacon Hill Events Center.

The Spokane County Fairgrounds have opened for emergency animal sheltering. Both large and small animals will be accepted.

  • Dogs on leashes, cats in carriers or containers
  • Horses on halters and lead rope
  • Bring special food and/or medications with special instructions
  • Please make sure you check-in when you arrive

Governor Jay Inslee visited Spokane on Tuesday for a briefing on the multiple fires burning in the region. He spoke about reducing the amount of "fire fuel" in Washington forests and lands, as well as tackling climate change to prevent fires in the future.