Washington News

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Bellingham firefighter dies in off-duty tractor accident

A Bellingham firefighter and well-known community member was killed in an off-duty accident Monday evening. Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Hewitt says Brian Cain died in a tractor accident on his property on Goshen Road. Brian served as a fire fighter for the past 19 years after working for the Bellingham Public Works Department for 12 years. He has also been a volunteer for Fire Districts 1 and 14 and has been an active member of the east county community. He and his wife Stacy have two children, Chad and Olivia, and have been looking forward to welcoming their first grandchild into the family. Chief Hewitt says “this sudden, tragic loss has struck the members of our department deeply.”

Washington, Oregon projected to have worst wildfire seasons in the U.S.

Despite the rainy, cloudy weather, Washington is in the middle of wildfire season. This year, projections show Washington and Oregon have the worst wildfire risks in the nation. We have already had more than 300 wildfires in our state. The state is dealing with a $9 billion budget shortfall because of COVID-19, but the Department of Natural Resources says it is prepared to take on a regular fire season. But if it's a more severe wildfire season, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz says wildfire-fighting costs could surpass the fire suppression budget, forcing the state to tap into its emergency rainy day fund. Franz says that money should be allocated elsewhere and we should all do our part to make that happen. “Ideally, our goal is to keep our fires small to make sure they don’t happen in the first place," she says.
KCPQ-TV FOX 13 Seattle

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews rescue puppy after it unintentionally locked itself in owner’s car

Spokane Valley Fire Department members are "wagging their tails happily" so to speak after crews successfully rescued a puppy after it unintentionally became locked in a car on Tuesday. According to SVFD, firefighters responded after a woman stated she left her keys in her car and her puppy stepped on the door lock, locking the woman out of the vehicle. SVFD obtained a lockout waiver, gained entry to the vehicle, and got the puppy out safely. Crews called it the "best call, rescuing a very grateful happy puppy." The owner shared some pictures with SVFD of the rescue process on the department's Facebook post. "The golden retriever puppy was evaluated with numerous hugs and kisses and found to need no further medical assistance," SVFD said.
KHQ-TV NBC 6 Spokane

Business booming for Clark County fireworks stands, firefighters expect busy Fourth of July

With parades, festivals and firework displays cancelled, there’s a boom in business for firework stands catering to those who plan to light their own fireworks at home. In unincorporated Clark County, it’s legal to set off fireworks and Hazel Dell fireworks stands told FOX 12 they’ve been slammed with business. “We’ve had a lot more people coming through, good foot traffic,” said Bryant Raeburn with Bomber Brothers Fireworks. “It’s exciting and it feels good because I feel like we are bringing a little happiness to the people who are coming and purchasing.” Sione Taumoeanga came to the firework stand to buy fireworks for his kids. Taumoeanga said his family usually goes to the fireworks show at Fort Vancouver. “They’re pretty bummed about it being cancelled, but I’m doing my best to make up for it,” Taumoeanga said. But all the fun could come with another price: the threat of firework-related fires and accidents.
KPTV FOX 12 Portland

Seattle: Two people rescued by nearby kayakers after seaplane crashes into Lake Washington

Authorities said two people were rescued by nearby kayakers Wednesday night after a seaplane crashed in Lake Washington. The Seattle Fire Department said firefighters were called to about 200 feet from shore near the 300 block of Lakeside Avenue South for a seaplane crash. One person was standing on top of the plane, authorities said. All of the people inside made it out safely with the help of nearby boats. Emergency crews are evaluating the occupants inside the plane, but police reported minor injuries. Alex Flaco said he was on his sailboat coming back to the marina Wednesday night when he heard the seaplane crash. He said he was going to jump in and help but two kayakers came and pulled the pair of people out of the plane.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

East Jefferson Fire Rescue responds to raging house fire

Firefighters from East Jefferson Fire Rescue helped knock down a house fire on the eastern shore of Sequim Bay early Wednesday morning. The fire was reported just after midnight, at 12:12 a.m. July 1, according to Clallam County Fire District 3. No one was hurt in the fire, which reportedly caused $1.2 million in damages to the shorefront home and its contents. The first-in crew came from Fire Station 37 in Blyn, and firefighters saw flames coming from the roof of the three-story house when they arrived. Emergency responders soon discovered the blaze had spread through every level of the 4,000-square-foot waterfront home, including the roof. No one was injured in the fire, which happened in the 2200 block of East Sequim Bay Road. The home was occupied at the time of the fire, and the occupants, described as an elderly couple, told a neighbor they had smoke in their house. Fire District 3 officials praised the neighbor for getting the couple to safety and calling 911.
Port Townsend Leader

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

13 Everett firefighters quarantined after exposure to coronavirus

Over 10 Everett fighters are currently quarantined in their homes after being exposed to coronavirus over the weekend. The Everett Fire Department said 10 firefighters are quarantined following a co-worker who reported being ill after a work shift. The firefighter needed medical attention and tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities are unsure where the ill firefighter contracted the virus. Three additional firefighters were exposed to different people with known COVID-19 infections, forcing them under quarantine, according to the Everett Fire Department. The fire department said they will monitor the firefighters' conditions as they quarantine for two weeks. Authorities said there is no cause for alarm to the public.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000 Seattle

’You never think something like this could happen’: Man drowns while tubing on Spokane River

Jaspreet Singh Turna was one of the good ones. His friend, Taylor Smith, spoke of him fondly. "He was he was just so welcoming, right when he met you," Smith said. "He had a way of making you feel comfortable and part of the group." Jaspreet's sister, Amandeep, said he was was her whole world. "He embodied intelligence, kind-heartedness, generosity, sweetness, beauty, genuineness, and love. It was impossible not to smile when you saw him. He touched so many people’s lives," she said. Jaspreet is of three men who drowned on the Spokane River last week, none of them were wearing life jackets. "I'm going on thirty years in the fire service. Twenty of those is a fire chief. I have never, ever taken somebody out of a life jacket that died as a result of drowning. It simply doesn't happen in my experience," Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.
KHQ-TV NBC 6 Spokane

Fire burning in Yakima Canyon closes SR 821

A fire spreading that is burning hundreds of acres has shut down Canyon Road between Selah and Ellensburg. The fire has sparked near milepost 21 of SR 821. SR 821 is closed at MP 3 near Sundown Ranch and at MP 24/Thrall Road in Kittitas County. Crews on scene say between 300-500 acres have burned. BLM, Forest Service, Kittitas Valley Fire, and Fire District 1 have responded with more than a hundred firefighters working to stop the spread. Two helicopters as well as two bulldozers are being used to contain the blaze. Shortly after 5pm crews told action news the blaze wasn't close to being under control as high winds pushed the fire further. The cause is under investigation. There have been no injuries and no homes are currently threatened.
KIMA-TV CBS/CW+ 29 Yakima

Spokane mayor, others hold off on push for Phase 3 as COVID-19 cases spike

As coronavirus cases spike in the Spokane area, Mayor Nadine Woodward and county commissioners are holding off on their push to move into the next phase of Washington state's reopening plan. The Spokane County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to health officer Dr. Bob Lutz on Wednesday, June 17, asking him to take “immediate action” in beginning the process of applying for Phase 3. Lutz and other health leaders have said they will not support moving ahead in reopening until Spokane County's numbers improve. The Spokane Regional Health District reported 81 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday alone, the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. On Monday, health officials also reported the first coronavirus death of a Spokane County resident in their 30s. “I go into July Fourth with some trepidation given that our numbers have exploded since Memorial Day," Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz said on Monday.
KREM-TV CBS 2 Spokane

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