Lightning Ignites Several Fires On Colville Reservation

Jul 13, 2021

Two fires burning on the Colville Indian Reservation are threatening the town of Nespelem.
Credit Courtesy of Colville Confederated Tribes

Northwest fire officials say there are 10 large fires burning in Washington and Oregon. That’s up two from Monday.
 
The newest triggered evacuations on the Colville Indian Reservation in eastern Washington.

The National Weather Service says it recorded about 60 lightning strikes on and around the reservation on Monday night. They sparked five new fires. Two are threatening the Colville Tribal headquarters and town of Nespelem. People who live in the area were required to evacuate Monday night. Electric and phone service have been interrupted.
 
The fires have since spread to about 10-thousand acres. Officials report seven structures and seven outbuildings were destroyed. Several animals were injured and put down. Temperatures are around 100 degrees and smoke chokes the air.

New firefighters arrived Tuesday morning to fortify the suppression effort. An incident management team is due to arrive this evening to oversee it.

Level 3 evacuations are in effect for people who live at Owhi Flats and in the town of Nespelem. Level 2 evacuations apply to people to live along Joe Moses Road. There’s an evacuation center at Lake Roosevelt High School.

Smaller fires are also burning northeast of Keller and near Inchelium. Those have been mostly contained.