Fire crews continue work to contain Palisades Wildfire

SPOKANE, Wash.–Firefighters are making progress on the Palisades fire that started Friday in West Spokane.

They’re checking for heat spots and monitoring for flare-ups. But one of the biggest concerns is the wind.

The fire is 41.5 acres in size, and crews are working to put a fire trail around it.

“We have over 80 firefighters on scene and 11 in fire engines, two tenders and four ten-person crews working on the fire today,” Guy Gifford, Public Information Officer for the Department of Natural Resources and for the Palisades fire, said.

And wind gusts and shifts experienced today made fighting this fire much harder and a lot more dangerous.

“They’re getting gusty and what we call erratic winds,” Gifford said. “We can’t predict what direction it is. We like certainty in fighting fires because it helps predict things. When we get unverifiable winds it gets a little more concerning, all wind gives concern, to a firefighter.”

Fire crews are using a helicopter that can hold about seven hundred gallons of water to help fight flare-ups.

“This wind that we’re feeling is a problem, one of the reasons why is because it gives more oxygen to the fire and it’s causing some flare-ups,” Gifford said. “One of the reasons why we brought the helicopter in to help assist with this wind is to make sure this fire doesn’t go anywhere.”

Level 3 evacuations — meaning LEAVE NOW — are no longer in place along Houston Road. All Level 3 evacuations have been downgraded to Level 1 evacuations. East of Government Way is down to level 1 evacuations — meaning HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE IF NEEDED.

Fire crews ask people to stay away as they work to contain the fire, and crews say they expect to work through to ensure the fire stays calm.

RELATED: More crews coming in Saturday to battle Palisades Fire in west Spokane

FIRE WATCH: Level 3 evacuations issued for people living near Palisades wildfire