Medical Lake brush fire presented unique challenges to firefight - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Medical Lake brush fire presented unique challenges to firefighters

Posted: Updated:
MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -

Firefighters fought more than flames during the wildfire out in Medical Lake Saturday.

That fire burned 35 acres off of Hallett Road, destroying four outbuildings and nearly two dozen cars.

Mike Moravec was the incident commander on the fire from Spokane County Fire District 3. He says this one posed some unique challenges.

“It was a very hot fire. There were wood piles out here, stacks of railroad ties, many different spots scattered throughout this with hot fuel loads,” he says.

Firefighters say no one lived on that property where all those cars, trucks, and items were and those were what posed challenges. The oil in those cars, as well as in the 55 gallon barrels around the property, caused the fire to burn hot.

“One of those drums ruptured partway through the fire. We had an explosion…which again backs us off of the situation. We're not going to put people in there where there's potential harm,” Moravec says.

Whatever was burning was so close to the home that it was dangerous to get in at certain points during the fire. While firefighters were able to save the main structure, they say if you want your home to be protected, make sure there’s at least 30-50 feet of space around your home that’s clear.

Fire investigators are still looking into what caused this fire. They do believe it started around a shooting range in the area. 

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