Emergency declaration sends dollars, help for fighting state’s wildfires

SPOKANE — A new firefighting mobilization center is being set up at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane to help fight wildfires in Washington state. The base will be the staging area for 20 large fire engines and 10 water takers and will be run by a team from San Diego, California.

The new firefighting resources come one day after the Obama administration approved Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s request for a federal emergency declaration to help firefighting efforts in Eastern Washington.

Inslee’s office says the new fire engines are coming from Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.

Sixteen large wildfires are burning across central and Eastern Washington, covering more than 920 square miles. More than 200 homes have been destroyed and more than 12,000 homes and thousands of other structures remain threatened.

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