Gov. Gregoire’s statement on continuing wildfires
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Governor Chris Gregoire issued the following statement on firefighting efforts in Eastern Washington:
"Last night, Washington State Patrol Chief Batiste and I flew over fires burning in Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Stevens, and Spokane counties. Firefighters are stabilizing numerous fires burning an estimated 23,000 acres in Eastern Washington. Firefighters continue to battle wildfires in Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Douglas, Chelan, and Spokane counties. The area in and around Spokane Valley is under the most imminent threat to life and property, and earlier today air support was called in to help contain those fires.
"Safety remains our highest priority. Fire crews are doing a great job and trying to return people to their homes as soon as it is safe. They are asking everyone to stay out of evacuation areas. Firefighters want to minimize the possible need for a re-evacuation. No one has been injured, and we want to ensure it stays that way.
"Late yesterday, FEMA agreed to pay for 75% of the state's costs for battling fires in Spokane County. This will ensure that firefighters will have the resources needed to contain these fires. FEMA also authorized fire management assistance funds for the Brown's Canyon and Badger Mountain fires in Chelan and Douglas Counties.
"Fire safety and prevention is a major concern for the whole state of Washington. Because of the dry conditions and increasing hot weather there is increasing risk that new fires could develop and on-going fires could flare up. For everyone who has experienced property losses, please report to your local emergency response agency for support. Firefighters are diligently working to contain and stabilize these fires and keep these communities safe."
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