State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Wellesley Fire located in Spokane County Fire District 9, and the Yale Fire located in Spokane County Fire District 3. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on August 21, 2016, at 5:45 pm at the request of Chief Jack Cates, Spokane County Fire District 9 and Chief Bruce Holloway, Spokane County Fire District 3.
The fires started on August 21, 2016, and the cause is currently under investigation. The Wellesley Fire is estimated at 200+ acres and growing and the Yale Fire is estimated at 1,000+ acres and growing. The fires are threatening homes, power lines, crops and timber. Evacuation orders have been issued for the threatened structures.
Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered 2 – Type 1 Task Forces, 10 – Wildland Task Forces, Bulldozers, and a Type 2 Incident Management Team.
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray has been activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Wellesley & Yale Fires. State Fire Marshal personnel are in route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources, and personnel will be staffing the State EOC.
Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions. More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at: www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington States firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.