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Defensible space a good plan to protect your property

Firefighters quickly put out a fire near Cheney Wednesday night, but not before it chewed through five acres and coming close to homes.

When Mary Ann Klute saw smoke on the horizon it felt like deja vu. Her house almost fell victim to the fire storm of 1991, which left one person dead and over 100 homes burned to the ground.

?The fire burned all of our 15 acres and up to the edge of our house and killed one of our dogs, so he's been spending the last 25 years clearing the property, cutting down the old trees, thinning the new trees trying to make this defensible,? Klute said.

The US Fire Administration says that's a very good idea. They say the best ways to keep your home safe are to create a 30 to 100 foot defensible barrier around your property, clear all flammable vegetation, remove all dead branches that extend over the roof and create and practice a home evacuation plan.

After the brush fire Wednesday, Klute was glad her husband hasn't left their safety to chance.

?Every time he smells smoke he get really stressed and we kind of tease him about it but now, he was right,? she said.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

The Spokane Regional Health District announced Thursday that starting tomorrow, August 1, they will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week here in Spokane. The event draws attention to the positive health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.

On Saturday, breastfeeding supporters like peer counselors and other staff from the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program will participate in the World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration hosted by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Spokane. Participants should meet at 10:00 am at Riverfront Park's Red Wagon.

Shortly after at 10:25 am, all breastfeeding mothers are welcome to join in the Big Latch On – a simultaneous international breastfeeding event to focus attention on communities' efforts to provide ongoing breastfeeding support.

Residents prepared for fire sparked near Cheney

A fire burned five acres near U.S. Highway 95 late Wednesday afternoon. Several houses were threatened but homeowners were ready if it came any closer.

When Mary Ann Klute saw smoke on the horizon Wednesday, it felt like deja vu. Their house almost fell victim to the Fire Storm of 1991, which left one dead and over 100 homes burned to the ground. Klute's husband has been wary of wildfires since then.

"The fire burned all of our 15 acres and up to the edge of our house and killed one of our dogs so he's been spending the last 25 years clearing the property, cutting down old trees, thinning new trees, trying to make this space defensible," says Klute.

The U.S. Fire Administration says that's a very good idea. They say the best way to keep your home safe are to create a 30 to 100-foot defensible barrier around your property, clear all flammable vegetation, remove all dead branches that extend over the roof and create a practice a home evacuation plan.

After today's ordeal, Klute is glad her husband hasn't left their safety to chance.

SCRAPS removes 17 animals from Cheney home

SCRAPS removes 17 animals from Cheney home

SCRAPS officers took 17 animals -- including eight dogs, six cats, two horses and a llama -- from a Cheney home Wednesday for what they believe might be animal cruelty.

SCRAPS received a complaint during the Watermelon Hill fire about five horses that were temporarily evacuated to the Cheney rodeo grounds. The reporting party said that three of the horses were emaciated.

Animal control officers found the horses and determined that those three did show signs of malnourishment and obtained a search warrant for the house where they were from, which was executed Wednesday.

The officers say that the residence had horrific conditions, with the interior filled with feces, urine and garbage, and they went ahead and rescued the 17 animals from the premises.

"The animals are currently on their way to a veterinarian. One of the cats we took is currently in labor. So she's going to be seen by a veterinarian. We have some dogs that are bred. The horses that are emaciated are going to be seen by a vet so we're going to get them checked out immediately," animal control officer Nicole Montano said.

Boil-water advisories over for some after storm

Boil-water advisories over for some after storm

Health advisories asking residents to boil their drinking water after last week's storm have ended in two of six impacted areas now that power has been restored and lab tests show the water is safe to drink.

Boil-water advisories in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties have ended, specifically:

  • 333 resdients of Chattaroy Valley Mobile Estates in Chattaroy.
  • Sandy Shore and Sandy Meadows water system customers in Pend Oreille County.

The following four water systems in three counties remain on boil-water advisories:

Carlton Complex Fire officials say no more donations!

Carlton Complex Fire officials say no more donations!

It turns out there can be too much of a good thing. According to the official Carlton Complex Fire blog, the community has overwhelmed community groups with their donations.

Effective immediately, physical donations of clothing, books, toys and more will no longer be accepted.

Okanogan County resources no longer have the space to store additional donations or the manpower to sort them. All donations currently being sorted are more than enough to cover what's needed – they are being transported to a central location and then distributed to members of the community from there.

If you would still like to offer assistance to victims of the Carlton Complex fire, please consider a cash donation to the Apple Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross or other local charities. You can also donate cash for fire victims at any North Cascades Bank.