Colfax Fire, Tens of thousands of acres of Eastern Washington and dozens of homes were burnt down by wildfire charged with high winds, low humidity, and dry conditions on Monday, 7th September. most of the Whitman County town of Malden was damaged by the fire, which led to the evacuations in Okanogan County, outside of Spangle and airway heights in Spokane city, and in Colfax and Malden in Whiteman County. on of the busiest day of the year, at some point in time, more than 60,000 people throughout the region faced power cut due to wind and fire. Outside Ritzville, many people were stuck in a traffic jam because of low visibility.
Statement of National Weather Service
National Weather Service in Spokane released a statement which says that the entire state of Washington was at risk of getting damaged by the wildfire, due to an abundance of fuel, low humidity, dry conditions, and high winds. Some areas like Ritzville and Moses Lake were at higher risk due to even higher winds. A National Weather Service meteorologist, Mark Turner said that there are numerous factors that can complicate the situation connected to the fires, dust storms, traffic issues, freshly cultivated lands, holiday tours, extremely dry conditions.
Wildfire Ruins Countless Buildings and Homes in the Town of Malden and Colfax
In Northern Whitman County countless buildings and homes were in ruins in the town of Malden and Colfax as the wildfire stormed through the towns on Monday. As per the warning the National Weather Service released on Monday, wind speeds ranged from 20-25 mph, with some reaching 40 mph. Humidity was between 6% and 13%. Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer stated that many firefighters expected quite a few numbers of fires after months of little to no rain. He also said that the firefighters have gone to different areas to help bring the fire in control.
Power Disruption Caused by the Wildfire
The wildfire has caused over 60,000 customers without electricity supply in the Inland Northwest since 8 p.m Monday.33,000 customers of Avista Utilities declared no electricity supply was available from 4 p.m. including 5,200 in Spokane, 4,500 in Sandpoint, and 5,600 in and near Coeur d’Alene. That number had decreased to nearly 24,000 by around 7 p.m. Casey Fielder, spokeswoman for Avista, said crews were still trying to get control the destruction. But customers are expected to survive without power for one to two days. “These winds have caused the spread of numerous wildfires and our crews’ priority has been responding to emergency situations to make sure that our infrastructure is safe and to de-energize lines as needed by fire personnel,” Inland Power wrote on its website. “Winds have started to die down, and our crews are beginning to assess the damage caused by the wind and restore power where it is safe.”