‘We need to all be ready’: How Spokane Fire says you can prepare for fire season

SPOKANE, Wash. — A scary afternoon for some people living in west Spokane. 

The Sunset Fire forced evacuations for about 20-25 homes near Sunset Highway. It burned about 14 acres of land- about the size of nine city blocks. 

READ: Crews gain control of Sunset Fire, all evacuations lifted

No one was hurt, and no homes were lost or damaged. But, this is just the start of wildfire season and some extreme heat is in the forecast. 

The families who were evacuated didn’t have much time to prepare, which is why Spokane’s fire chief wants this to serve as a warning for everyone. 

It doesn’t take much for a small brush fire to turn into something more dangerous. In fact, the 90 degree temperatures and dry weather in Spokane’s forecast are a recipe for disaster. 

“Those are serious triggers for us in a firefighter’s mind of this can be an explosive type of fire,” said Spokane County Fire Chief Brian Schaefer. 

The Sunset Fire serves as a prime example of that.

The 20-25 homes evacuated are still in tact thanks to the work of 100 firefighters from 15 different agencies. 

“We need the public to be ready,” said Schaefer. “That level 1, level 2, level 3 ready set go, those programs are there for a reason and right now is the time to prepare.” 

A Level 1 evacuation means you should be aware there’s a fire near your home. Level 2 means you need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. And Level 3 means you need to leave. 

“You may not get more notification than a knock at your door and really you need to be prepared for that knock,” said Schaefer. 

You never know how long you’ll have to evacuate your home. 

That’s why having a plan is key. Like making sure all of your critical documents are easy access. 

You should always have a two-minute evacuation plan in place for your family, and pets or livestock. 

It’s even more important as temperatures keep rising in Spokane. 

“We’ve got dry lightning in the forecast in the next couple days coming in with this hot weather… it’s going to increase that fire risk and we need to all be ready,” said Schaefer. 

The Sunset Fire was caused by spontaneous combustion, which is just a pile of brush plants that lit on fire because of the hot, dry weather we have.

PHOTOS: Sunset Fire burns near the Spokane Airport