'Some guys lost a lot:' Lind Fire contained, leaves path of destruction behind

The Lind Fire is now 100% contained, according to the fire chief, but the fast-moving fire left a path of destruction as it tore through the south side of Lind.  

Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner said at last count, six homes had burned and around eight garages or outbuildings were also destroyed

Local resident Vernon Shepard considers himself one of the lucky ones. His home is located on the south side of Lind, in the area that was hard-hit by the fire. Thursday, the fire burned through a grassy area next to his home, but was stopped in part by a gravel driveway and parking area that served as a small barrier to the flames. He says firefighters also used that gravel area to park their vehicles while putting out hot spots that threatened to spread to his home. 

"You’ve got the high winds, the sparks could have easily carried over," said Shepard. 

Just up the hill from his home, some neighbors lost much more. Homes, garages, sheds and trailers were lost a short distance away. 

"I feel really bad for the people that did. Some guys lost a lot," said Shepard. 

Shepard says he rushed home from work to help his son get their four dogs, cats, chickens, geese and ducks ready to evacuate to safety when he got the call the fire was moving through the small town. 

"At that time, the fire was coming down the hill," he said. "There was twice where we ran up there with a garden hose, putting it out." 

"I was worried for my animals and stuff," said his 12-year-old son, Merrick. 

"It was wind-driven, and really hard and rough terrain to get to," said Kevin Starring, Fire Chief for Adams County Fire District 2.  

He said that crews were still monitoring hot spots Friday morning. Starring adds that the rainy spring helped to grow lots of "fuel" for the fire to feed on. He said 25 mph winds also pushed the flames onto the now charred properties and praised firefighters for saving what they could.  

"Volunteer firefighters are amazing. We had units from the surrounding 60 miles," said Starring. "They put themselves where they probably shouldn’t have been or wanted to be." 

Avista crews had also been working all night to replace burnt power poles in order to restore electricity to the town of about 500. 

"We did have some customers out yesterday due to the fire in Lind and damage to several poles. However, restoration is now complete, and all power has been restored," said Annie Gannon, Avista Corporate Communications. 

Lind wildfire: Evacuation orders lifted, fire contained

According to the Adams County Sheriff's Office, all Lind residents were ordered to evacuate the town (Level 3 - go now) and go to the Ritzville Grade School about 17 miles away. As of 10 p.m., those evacuation orders were lifted and everyone was cleared to return home.

The owner of Wheat Lind Coffee House says she was working at her second job when the fire broke out. 

"It is heartbreaking…just seeing the homes go up in flames," said Heather.    

She offered water and refreshments to those who were working on recovery efforts Friday. 

"I decided to offer free coffee and drinks to the firefighters and the Avista workers today. It's a small thing I can do," she said.   

Heather says the spirit of community is why she enjoys working in a small town.  

"The community was really on top of it, they organized water, supplies for the firefighters and the people affected," said Heather.     

One local firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation in Spokane.  Starring says that the firefighter texted him Friday and told him he is back home resting and recovering.