Corkscrew Fire ravages through one man’s family land

STEVENS CO., Wash. — Firefighters are slowly getting a handle on the Corkscrew Fire burning in Stevens County, but hundreds of homes are still in its path. On Tuesday, that fire took a turn, tearing through land that has been owned by one family for generations.

4 News Now spoke to that man whose land was scorched in the fire. It tore through Mine Ridge and for Terry Huffman and his family who have owned this land for over 100 years, it’s devastating.

“The fire was coming right straight, it was going northeast, so it was traveling this way,” Huffman said.

Huffman doesn’t live on the land, but from his home nearby, he could see the progression of how this fire evolved.

“My grandfather got this land back in the latter 1800s, a long time. I’m the 3rd generation, my son will be the 4th. Pretty sad,” he said.

Initially, he thought about half his trees would make it out, but as we drove through today, the reality became much more clear.

“I think now it’s 75 percent of the 700 acres,” he said.

He doesn’t think many of the trees will make it now because they’re burned up too high.

“There’s a considerable amount of money lost here. I figure lose about $800,000,” Huffman said.

That’s a hard loss for him, but more heartbreaking is the experience this land offered his family and the possibility for what it could have become one day.

“We had a couple of picnic tables but you can see what happen to them,” he said.

Huffman and his family have torn through these lands, building sheds, cutting driveways, hunting, and celebrating holidays for as long he can remember.

“The wildlife here is devastated. It’s gone. We’ve had so many species of wildlife here, it breaks my heart,” he said. “When you’ve elk, moose, dear, and you got bear and you got cougars.”

They had future dreams of turning this area into a conservatory or selling it to become a state park offering the most ideal place to hike, bike and camp through this land.

“It’s gone now. It’s not going to come back in my lifetime and it’s not going to come back in my son’s lifetime,” he said.

Huffman brought a logger through later in the day to determine how much of this land is salvageable.

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