Five fires, five children locked in cars and numerous unauthorized burning calls have prompted the Spokane Valley Fire Department to remind the public to be cautious and vigilant as extreme heat continues in our area.
In less than two weeks, SVFD crews have responded to five residential fires caused by cigarettes, said Melanie Rose, department spokeswoman.
Three of the fires started after cigarettes were discarded in potted plants prompting an urgent reminder that potting soil is not dirt. It is highly flammable, especially when dry. Two of the homes sustained combined damage totaling more than $70,000.
Over the past week, SVFD crews responded to four incidents involving five young children locked in cars. In all cases, firefighters were able to safely reach the children who were unharmed.
The temperature inside a car can reach more than 120 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, Rose said. Residents are cautioned to never leave a child, disabled or elderly person, or pet alone in a parked vehicle, even briefly with the windows open.
As extreme temperatures and low humidity continue, the department is urging citizens to be vigilant about the Fire Danger Burn Restriction currently in place across Spokane County. Outdoor recreational fires including backyard fire pits (with or without a screen) and campfires are illegal until further notice due to extreme fire danger. Open burning of yard waste, garbage and/or fields is prohibited at all times.
Spokane Valley firefighters have responded to nearly one dozen “unauthorized burning” calls in the past week.