Spokane Tribe hit hard as blaze destroys homes on reservation

The Cayuse Mountain Fire, or the Cayuse Fire, has struck the Spokane Reservation in Washington. Photo by The Rawhide Press

The Spokane Tribe is seeing support from Indian Country as a fire continues to batter the reservation in Washington.

The Cayuse Mountain Fire has burned more than 27 square miles of the reservation, the Associated Press reported. At least 13 homes have been destroyed.

"The devastating fire jumped the Spokane River from Lincoln County onto the Spokane reservation in three separate locations," spokesperson Jamie Sijohn told the AP.

Fire crews from the Colville Tribes and the Kalispel Tribe, both based in Washington, have been helping the Spokane Tribe fight the blaze, Northwest Public Radio reported. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the state have sent firefighters too.

"Our sister tribes know – I think they have the same type of deep connection with their land and their people," Monica Tonasket, the tribe's acting executive director, told NWPR.

Amid the crisis, water is running low in Wellpinit, one of the communities hit by the fire, FOX 28 reported. The water tower normally sits at 30 feet but it was down to just two feet on Wednesday, the station said.

"Our water situation for Wellpinit is dangerously low and Wellpinit residents must continue to conserve water," the tribe wrote on its website.

Despite the setbacks, tribal citizens have been pulling together to help families in need, according to news reports. So have other tribes -- the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho and the Muckleshoot Tribe of Washington have sent donations to the reservation, according to the reports.

Information about the fire and donations can be found on the Facebook page of The Rawhide News, a newspaper owned by the Spokane Tribe.

Read More on the Story:
Weather helps crews make progress against Eastern Washington wildfires (AP 8/25)
Firefighters, Wellpinit residents deal with water shortage on Cayuse Mountain Fire (My FOX Spokane 8/24)
Resources Come Slow As Wildfire Ravages Spokane Reservation (NWPR 8/24)
Outpouring of support welcomed by Wellpinit residents (KXLY 8/24)
Reservation family pulls together to help Cayuse Mountain Fire victims (KXLY 8/24)
Family near Wellpinit stays positive after losing home (KREM 8/24)
Wellpinit residents asked to conserve water (KREM 8/24)
Fire communications being criticized for Cayuse Fire (KREM 8/24)
Hart Road Fire Jumps Spokane River (NWPR 8/23)

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