State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Watermelon Hill Fire, in Spokane County, near Cheney, WA. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on July 19, 2014, at 7:30 pm at the request of Spokane County Fire District 3.100 residences and an unknown number of outbuildings are threatened by the fire. Level 3 evacuation orders in in place for some areas near the fire.
Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered five strike teams (25 engines and 5 water tenders) to assist resources already on scene. An interagency type 3 Incident Management organization is currently managing the incident. A type 2 incident management team has been ordered for the fire.
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray has been activated to Phase II, to coordinate state assistance for the Watermelon Hill Fire. Personnel from the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be on scene to coordinate dispatch of resources, and other personnel will staff the State EOC.
Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions. More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm