State Fire Mobilization Authorized for the Colfax Fire
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State Fire Mobilization Authorized for the Colfax Fire

Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office

Whitman County – State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Colfax Fire located in Whitman County, near Colfax.  The Colfax Fire is burning in grass, timber, wheat, and urban landscape.  Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on September 7, 2020, at 12:15 pm at the request of Fire Chief Bill Tensfield, Whitman County Fire District 11.

The Colfax Fire started on September 7, 2020, at approximately 10:38 am.  This fire is estimated at 500-1,000 acres and growing.  It is threatening crops, infrastructure, the Port of Whitman Business Air Center Airport, and the city of Colfax.  Level 3 evacuations are in effect at this time.  The fire cause is currently under investigation. Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered two wildland strike teams and one structural strike team. 

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray will remain activated to Level 1 to help coordinate state assistance for the Colfax Fire.  State Fire Marshal’s Office personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

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 mobilization.  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/all-risk-mobilization/.

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