In Drier Washington State, Fire Chiefs Say Wildfires Could Hit Any City

"The state is grappling with the growing phenomenon of the 'urban wildfire.' That's when blazes that ignite in forests spread rapidly into recently built subdivisions and whole towns."

"In a field on the outskirts of Spokane, Wash., Peter Goldmark points across to a charred, rocky hillside where the Little Spokane fire burned dangerously close to the city limits earlier this month.

He says the wildfire was relatively small but had huge potential for destruction. Like many Western cities, greater Spokane has been home to rapid growth in recent years, and the forests surrounding the footprint of the Little Spokane blaze are cluttered with subdivisions, shopping centers and golf courses.

And because of historic drought, this year those forests are also extremely fire-prone."

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR's Morning Edition July 22, 2015.

Source: NPR, 07/23/2015