Storm brings fires, power outages

Four homes destroyed near Elmer City

An aerial view of Grandview Village Mobile Home Park near Elmer City.

Okanogan County Emergency Management
An aerial view of Grandview Village Mobile Home Park near Elmer City.

OKANOGAN — A fierce storm that brought heavy winds sparked several wildfires and left some residents without electricity Tuesday evening.

Wildfires were reported near Pateros, Oroville, Tunk Valley and Elmer City.

The fire near Elmer City destroyed four homes and damaged two additional houses in the Grandview Village Mobile Home Park.

The fire began in the Grandview Village Mobile Home Park just outside the city limits. Four mobile homes were destroyed and two were damaged, said Maurice Goodall, Okanogan County emergency manager.

No injuries were reported.

The park is owned by the Colville Confederated Tribes.

Colville Tribal Police Department is investigating the cause, said Goodall. High winds roared through the area before and during the blaze.

Coulee Dam Community Church offered assistance to those displaced by the blaze. Red Cross volunteers stood by, but were not called to service, Goodall said.

He said the fire burned on the south side of Elmer City and west of Highway 155 between the highway and the Columbia River. The fire was spotted about 200 feet from the mobile home park and burned about 15 acres of brush.

Crews from Elmer City, Colville Confederated Tribes, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mount Tolman Fire Center, Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, Electric City and Douglas County responded. Fire crews were being released as of about 9 p.m., although units were on the scene throughout the night.

Electricity was cut to Elmer City Tuesday evening, although power stayed off longer north of Nespelem toward Owhi Lake, Nespelem Valley Electric Cooperative reported. Crews worked until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to restore power to the area, and northwest to the Dutch Anderson Road area near Omak.

Power lines were down in several locations and some remained down as of Wednesday morning. Goodall advised people to use caution around downed lines.

Highway 155 was closed temporarily, but reopened Tuesday night.

The Elmer City fire came shortly after a wildfire was reported north of Pateros.

Goodall said high winds fanned flames about three miles north of Pateros. The blaze reached 70 acres and was 70 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.

Dozer lines were constructed to the south and east of the blaze. Crews were working today on lines on the west.

Highway 97 runs east-west at that point, so the fire burned mostly north-northeast toward Indian Dan canyon, but didn’t get into the canyon, Goodall said.

To the north, Jill Jones, center manager for the Northeast Washington Interagency Communication Center said the center received a call Tuesday at 3:44 p.m. for a brush fire south of Oroville.

Called the Driscoll Fire, state Department of Natural Resources firefighters had it 100 percent contained and controlled Tuesday by 4:30 p.m.

“It was about a tenth of an acre,” said Jones. “They didn't have any issues. They put it out last night and it is completely mopped up.”

Another call came in at 4:30 p.m. for a fire on Hosheit Road in Tunk Valley.

“Last night at 8:15 p.m. it was 100 percent controlled and mopped up,” Jones said Wednesday morning. “This morning they did a fire check just to make sure, and there were no more smokes on it.”

Jones said both fires will remain in patrol status until they are officially called out.


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