Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Fires burn over 80 homes, 180,000 acres on Colville Reservation


September 22, 2020

Shane Moses/Tribal Tribune

OMAK & INCHELIUM - As of this print, the five fires that started during a wind event over the long Labor Day Weekend have destroyed over 80 homes and burned over 200,000 acres on the Colville Indian Reservation.

"A lot of people have stepped up in a lot of ways to help with this fire." said Colville Business Council Chair Rodney Cawston, speaking at a press event in Omak. "It does take everyone to work together. I have had calls from federal and state congressman and their agencies that want to help, tribes and groups wanting to make donations but not wanting to interfere with those doing the work. I can't believe the fire and the damage that has occurred. The descriptions of what people went through was just unbelievable. One family had 10 to 15 minutes. If you can imagine that, you've got 10 to 15 minutes to think, 'What are you going to do,' or 'what are you going to take,' or 'What's important to you.' Then to see that fire roll over the hillside toward your home. The roar was so loud, coming at you like a creature, and when it hit them and their home it just turned completely black. When they came back to their home to find nothing, everything disintegrated. This smoke filled air is becoming all too common. There are things we need to deal with managing these fires, managing our natural resources. I'm very overwhelmed by all the good that has taken place."

Each of the fires started on Sunday, Sept. 6, along with a number of other fires around the state.


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