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Spokane County firefighters helping to fight California wildfires

The Spokane Fire Department is sending three Type 5/6 Engines, a Strike-Team Leader and additional firefighters for a 14 day mission.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington fire district are sending personnel to help battle wildfires raging in California, including a local district in the Spokane area.

The Spokane Fire Department is sending three Type 5/6 Engines, a Strike-Team Leader and additional firefighters for a 14 day mission.

Washington Emergency Management said on Monday its logistics office helped coordinate seven task forces to battle wildfires burning across the state, including the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and the Getty Fire near Los Angeles. Three of those strike teams are from the northwest region.

Thirty-one fire departments or districts across Washington state will send personnel, including several in the Chelan County area and Pasco Fire.

Spokane Co. Fire District 8 said in a tweet that three of its firefighters are on the way to California on Monday. On Tuesday, they tweeted that their deployment to California had been canceled for the time being. 

In October 2017, a strike team from the Inland Northwest headed to California to help battle wildfires raging across the state. During that time, there were more than a dozen fires burning and an estimated 20,000 people were evacuated. 

California paid for the extra manpower and the crew members filling in at the departments in Washington. 

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The fire that broke out last week amid Sonoma County's vineyards and wineries north of San Francisco grew to at least 103 square miles, destroying 94 buildings, including 40 homes, and threatening 80,000 more structures, authorities said. Nearly 200,000 people were under evacuation orders, mostly from the city of Santa Rosa.

In Southern California, the blaze on the west side of Los Angeles erupted before dawn Monday and roared up slopes into wealthy neighborhoods, threatening thousands of homes. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to clear out.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the fire had grown to 500 acres and that he had seen five burned homes. Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said he expects the number of homes destroyed to climb.

Fire conditions statewide have made California a "tinderbox," said Jonathan Cox, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Of the state's 58 counties, 43 were under warnings for high fire danger Sunday, with flames driven by gusts that reached more than 102 mph.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over the weekend.

KING 5 staff contributed to this reporting.