The summer of 2015 arrived early in the Pacific Northwest, first breaking 90 degrees in Spokane on June 7th. On June 28th we hit a toasty 108 degrees. For the month of June, 15 days were 90 degrees or hotter. The rest of our summer followed suit with just one high temperature in July below the historical average. By the time August rolled around our forests were parched. Firefighting airtankers became a common site in the skies around Spokane. By my count we had 5 fires within a 10 mile radius of our Nine Mile Falls home. Fortunately they were all extinguished before causing widespread damage. Other parts of Eastern Washington were not so fortunate with nearly 1 million acres burned. The Okanagon complex alone burned over 400 square miles, the largest fire in Washington state history.
Eastern Washington Wildfire Map
Smoke from the numerous wildfires made Spokane's air quality the worst on record since Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980!
View of Spokane looking east.
The Renner Lake Fire (part of the Kettle Complex) reached our family property near Boyds on August 24th, 2015. Believed to have been sparked by lightning on August 11th, 2015, the fire grew to nearly 9000 acres before being contained. Our 20 acre parcel was actually used as part of the fire line to protect residential areas to the south!
Flames burn below the tree holding my Browning Range Ops trail camera - it survived!
Flames approach the tree holding my Bushnell Trophy Cam - it suffered some heat damage but still works!
Burned roots caused this tree to topple over.
The treestand platform was unscathed though the lower retaining straps were melted (hope the tree doesn't fall over)!
The firefighting crew cleared a wide swath along my access road to "back burn" to the main fire.
Looking East before "back burn"
Looking East after "back burn"