Palisades Fire in West Spokane now 50 percent contained

SPOKANE, Wash.– Firefighters have the Palisades Fire 50 percent contained.

The fire started Friday in West Spokane and though it is still burning, all evacuations have been lifted. Crews are checking for heat spots and monitoring for flare-ups, with one of the biggest concerns being the wind.

The fire is 41.5 acres in size, and crews are working to put a fire trail around it.

“We have over 80 firefighters on scene and 11 in fire engines, two tenders and four ten-person crews working on the fire today,” Guy Gifford, Public Information Officer for the Department of Natural Resources and for the Palisades fire, said.

Wind gusts and shifts made fighting this fire much harder and a lot more dangerous over the weekend.

“They’re getting gusty and what we call erratic winds,” Gifford said. “We can’t predict what direction it is. We like certainty in fighting fires because it helps predict things. When we get unverifiable winds it gets a little more concerning, all wind gives concern, to a firefighter.”

Fire crews are using a helicopter that can hold about seven hundred gallons of water to help fight flare-ups.

“This wind that we’re feeling is a problem, one of the reasons why is because it gives more oxygen to the fire and it’s causing some flare-ups,” Gifford said. “One of the reasons why we brought the helicopter in to help assist with this wind is to make sure this fire doesn’t go anywhere.”

Fire crews ask people to stay away as they work to contain the fire, and crews say they expect to work through to ensure the fire stays calm.

RELATED: More crews coming in Saturday to battle Palisades Fire in west Spokane

FIRE WATCH: Level 3 evacuations issued for people living near Palisades wildfire