Gregoire declares statewide emergency in fight against wildfires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gregoire declares statewide emergency in fight against wildfires

Gov. Chris Gregoire addressed the media Thursday night upon arriving in Spokane to tour the fire area. Gov. Chris Gregoire addressed the media Thursday night upon arriving in Spokane to tour the fire area.

OLYMPIA - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire on Friday went one step further in the fight against wildfires, signing a statewide State of Emergency.  The proclamation frees up equipment and manpower to help fight the numerous wildfires in Eastern Washington, including the one that destroyed several homes in Spokane Valley.

"I am prepared to do what it takes to get these fires under control," Gregoire said. "We must do whatever we can to protect our people, animals, property, economy and environment."

Gregoire has directed all state agencies and departments to "use state resources to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected areas".

Fire crews from across Washington are battling fires in Chelan, Douglas, Stevens, Adams, Ferry, and Spokane counties.  With hot and dry conditions continuing on both sides of the state, the proclamation ensures all Washington communities have sufficient fire-fighting resources during this vulnerable time.

Gregoire last night flew over the Badger Mountain fire burning in East Wenatchee.  She also met with first responders battling the Valley View fire in Spokane Valley and evacuees at University High School.  About a dozen homes have been destroyed in Spokane Valley.

"I have to commend those on the front-lines," the governor said.  "While the Valley View fire has destroyed several homes, we suffered any fatalities. Our firefighters who risk their lives to protect all of us deserve our gratitude."

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