Local News

Concerns over falling ash in Stevens county

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Smoke as you look around outside, the smell of it as you take a breath in and ash falling from the sky had many worried today, but that wasn't what had Stevens County Fire District One bringing in extra staff today.

As fine as the ash may be, waking up with it covering your car can be a scary sight. Especially with no fires nearby. Chief Mike Bucy of Stevens County Fire District One says a shift in the winds is to blame for the invasion of hazy smoke and all that comes with it from the Jolly Mountain fire and other fires burning in British Columbia and Montana today.

Chief Bucy explained, “This ash is cool ash. What becomes a danger is when the fire is closer, like in 2014 and 2015 when we had larger pieces falling, that were still hot.”

The ash has had plenty of time to cool off on its journey here and poses no threat, but with dry conditions any spark could start a fire. That's when this wind would become a major problem.

“We actually have extra staff on today to mitigate anything that does happen, mainly because of the winds,” shared Chief Bucy.

The Stevens County Fire District asks residents to continue to avoid burning anything.

He adds, “if you're a smoker, try to avoid smoking and flipping your cigarette - even if its in your yard.”

As for how long we will continue to see ash fall, fire officials say there are just too many variables to put a date on it and it really depends on when these fires get put out.