Ford Corkscrew Fire Update As Of August 17

The Ford Corkscrew fire is still an active firefight. It is far from over and will theoretically last days before total control can be established. Currently, the total acreage is over 15,000, as reported by Steven County Fire District 1.  

Dozer lines in conjunction with disking of fields have been created in the last two days to hold the fire lines from all directions. There is a lot of smoke on the south end of the fire right now.  The aircraft were making good progress until a downdraft from the passing storm hit, pushing the smoke to the ground and cutting off their visibility. Though there has been improvement, there is still a danger of losing gained ground. The low smoke people are experiencing is a good sign, according to Stevens County Fire District. Engines continue to prepare and conduct structure protection where the flame front is moving through. Crews worked hard to save homes and structures in immediate threat. 

Authorities want people to know that every part of the fire area has someone watching it for aggressive fire behavior and other changes. According to a report released from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources on August 17th, the resources on-site are 23 fire engines, 2 dozers, and 3 tenders, with 97 personnel and more arriving. 

Locals living around the fire area were instructed to evacuate, and others in the area are on standby. Stevens County Fire District says that they can’t lift evacuation zones until they know areas are safe. Also, firefighters can’t respond to requests to check on personal property at this time. There will be an inventory of property affected by the fire.

The Ford Corkscrew Fire started on August 15th at approximately 1:29pm.  Its place of origin was in Ford, Washington.

People obstructing the effort to control these fires are as following:

  • Fire responders were hampered on Highway 395 by Clayton on August 16th due to traffic slowdowns because people were stopping to take pictures and look at the fire in the distance.
  • Stay out of the evacuation areas. Stevens County Fire District has noticed people driving through places they should not be going. They want people to know that this fire is still hazardous. Not only could the fire flare up unexpectedly, snag trees could randomly fall towards the roads. These will all need to be evaluated and removed before opening up roads directly affected by the fire. 
  • Boaters also delay water planes such as Fire Boss dropping in to fill their tanks. Spokane County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Deputies are assisting firefighting aircraft. They ask people to please avoid the area of Long Lake, downstream from Tum Tum toward the Long Lake Dam, during daylight hours for the time being. If people are in one of the several flight paths of these critical firefighting planes, they will not drop to lake level to fill their tanks. People who are wanting to watch the aircraft need to do it from the shore. The need to keep this area of Long Lake clear of firefighting efforts may need to be extended depending on the fire situation and risk to property and life.

Photo by Pop of Pure – Emma Siemen

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