When Dan Nanamkin rushed back to his home near the Colville Indian Agency Monday night he was met with an inferno.
A wildfire ignited by lightning raced across 10,000 acres and burned seven homes overnight Monday. Four were vacant.
The entire town of Nespelem evacuated safely before the fire arrived, said Colville Tribal Chairman Andrew “Badger” Joseph Jr.
“It was really crazy last night,” he said.
Nanamkin described the lightning as “super bright, just shooting straight down.”
The Chuweah Creek/Joe Moses Fire is the largest of five fires caused by lightning, according to information from the Colville Tribes, Department of Natural Resource and Mount Tolman Fire Center. During the storm Monday night, about 60 lightning strikes hit the ground, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane.
The first reports of fire came at 7:15 p.m. southeast of Nespelem. Driven by wind and fueled with tall grass, sagebrush and timber,