Winds and fast-moving flames unnerved Northwood neighborhood residents on Tuesday evening.
Spokane Valley Fire Department along with Fire District 9 and city of Spokane Fire units responded to a reported fire today at 3:54 pm., said Shawn Pichette, spokesman.
Units quickly arrived on scene and immediately upgraded the response to a full response structure fire (which brings additional units) given the amount of smoke. First arriving units found trees, shrubs and an outbuilding on fire and the fire was moving at a high rate of speed up Beacon Hill toward the northeast.
Firefighters were confronted with very erratic fire behavior in some tough-to-access terrain.
The decision was made to upgrade the incident once again, to a second-alarm structure fire with some wildland brush trucks given the wind, and current temperatures. The Department of Natural Resources was notified and asked to respond along with requesting air support.
The incident further escalated and a third alarm was requested and even more resources were requested. At the height of the incident, over 50 apparatus were on scene assisting with containment and extinguishment.
Multiple air assets arrived on scene including both rotor- and fixed-wing aircraft. Large fire retardant aircraft were ordered as well and were able to further draw separation between the main body of the fire and the housing area where the fire was heading.
As of 10 p.m., forward progress of the fire has been stopped. Containment is at 0 percent as of Wednesday morning, and there were currently three houses under mandatory evacuations.
State mobilization assistance had been granted with five strike teams responding to the fire.
Upriver Drive was closed east of Frederick and west of Argonne for a time.