Region’s wildfires not linked to equipment issues, initial report from Avista shows

SPOKANE, Wash. — An initial investigation from Avista shows the cause of wildfires in the region was primarily weather-related, with high winds impacting utilities lines. 

Avista says it has yet to find any evidence that the fires sparked from issues with equipment, maintenance, or lack of vegetation management. 

The company did report instances during storms where otherwise healthy trees and limbs broke, damaging lines and leaving people without power. Those trees were all located in areas outside of the maintenance right-of-way. 

“We are deeply saddened by the devastation in numerous communities throughout our region in the wake of the unprecedented windstorm. From the outset of this storm, our focus has been, and will continue to be, to look for ways to help support affected communities as they begin to assess and repair the damage,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO. 

The Department of Natural Resources is still investigating the cause of those fires. You can keep up-to-date with the latest wildfire headlines HERE.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said Avista reported no fires linked to downed power lines in the region. The investigation is ongoing.  

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