Inland Power Gift 9.5.2023

Middle of Bridges Rd travelling toward Elk Post Office.


We got an Inland Power Gift today. What I thought was a bill, was actually a great blessing after the Oregon Road Wildfire disaster. This letter is NOT A BILL, or advertisement, so for goodness sake, do not throw it away!

Until our services are rebuilt or restored Inland is stopping our bills. We have some time to get our stuff together and recover from this fire with a 2-year grace period from (the date of the fire) August 18, 2023 thru to August 18, 2025. Here is their number if you’d like to call and thank them 509/789-4277.


If I choose to build back the way it was before the fire there will be no charge to restore power lines and transformers. What a wonderfully generous gift! We paid right around $5,600 to install electric to our home 9 years ago, so Pete and I know it is at least that much of a savings for us. So, very blessed!

If someone opts to make changes, then new construction charges can apply.

It is reassuring to  know exactly what to expect and having the costs involved with starting over so greatly reduced is appreciated.

Above and Beyond

The Inland Power employees got together and made a collection to give each of us the “Yokes” card at the bottom of the letter.

We are all so truly blessed.

Thank you Inland Power!!!

Avoid Increased Building Costs

Do you want to avoid increased building costs involved with the “NEW BUILDING CODES”? Then it is imperative that you accomplish the following steps BEFORE OCTOBER 19TH, 2023.

New building codes will be going into effect on October 29, 2023. One of the most dangerous parts of those new codes is the;

…removal of your right to freely choose to use propane as a source of energy and/or heat in your home.

In our community, this edict could easily be a death sentence in the middle of winter. We historically loose electrical power for extended periods of time during sub-zero freezing weather.


  1. Using the “destroyed property” reduced (form), we will signup to get the tax valuation. See a previous blog article explaining thought on that, 3 -Year-Tax-Break for Disaster Victims
  2. We have already drawn a plot diagram of our land and marked where our “destroyed home” had been and also noted where water, septic and temporary electric are located.
  3. We plan to fill-out demolition permit paperwork at the Spokane County Building Department Office. The cost for half a year long demolition permit has been reduced, from $325 to $25. We don’t need an asbestos permit to file this paperwork, because we can get it later (see #5). This demolition permit can later be changed into a building permit. Again, protection from the new more expensive codes forced in the October 29th edition.
  4. Construction permit paperwork, if we can not get it done in time (submitted before Oct 29th, 2023) we face a, “NO PROPANE” dismal situation.
  5. ASBESTOS TEST? Is there is a mortgage on your home? We are going to check with our Mortgage Company to ask them to pay for the testing. They are required to have asbestos testing in their insurance coverage for each home loan. If they do not have this, then call The Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 800-562-6900 and report them.

Water Line Service

Water Line Service – Turning now to our house location after cleanup. There may be some excavation required, and replacement of melted, cracked or damaged water fittings, valves or pipes before the main water supply reactivation. If you don’t know where you are going to rebuild, you can put a frost-free draining standpipe and extend out further to “stub-out” for access later on. When installing any of these frost-free faucets, be sure to use a good amount of gravel at the bottom of their ditch so the pipe can drain properly.

Inspections & Permits – Spokane County, L & I (Labor & Industries) 1-800-547-8367 is the Office that handles the permits, and inspections for this part. This page on their website explains the rules and it is a good idea to read all of them. Here is the form that you must fill out to pay for your permit online, by mail, or in person at their office downtown. F500-094-000 or ONLINE  You will need to pass an electrical inspection before you will be allowed to fill in the ditches or cover any wiring up in the walls. If you forget and fill in the ditches and close the walls, they will make you open them and dig them back up to show them,. They will also charge you again for scheduling another inspection and probably make you wait a while for your inspection.

Restoring Electric & Water

Restoring water, and electrical are the first steps our family needs to take in recovering from the Oregon Road Wildfire disaster. Pete called the man who drilled our well first, at Pat’s Pumps 509/292-2322. He is who we have called to fix it whenever something went wrong over the past 25 years. Pat went out the next day to inspect how bad it was, then called us back telling us what we need to do.

Temporary Power Hookup – First, get temporary power to the pump is what Pat said. So, we called Inland Power 509/747-7151 to find out what we would need to do. You can download their specs on how to put a “temporary meter box” post in. Here is a copy of the drawing that outlines what is required  at | New Construction | (drop down list) New Construction | Construction Specs |Temporary Underground Service Thank goodness Pete knows electrical. If it was just me I’d have to hire an electrician to buy the right materials and put them together for the installation of the pole for the meter box.

Inland Power will handle from the pole to the transformer and transformer to meter base.

Excavation work has to be done. Take care of both the electrical line access to the pump and digging up the water lines from the well (at the same time) and save money by paying for one equipment rental or using elbow grease only once. Waterline from the well to the pressure tank (repair or replacement) at the same time. Pressure tank to house service is checked next.

Powerline needs to go in from the house to the well using a rented ditch digger (trencher) following the specs from Inland in conduit.

A New Pumphouse is Needed – Build a new pump house because the well mechanisms need protection from the elements. They can’t freeze or get wet.

Will you need to order a new pressure tank? Ask someone you can trust. Pat will order that and bill us for it, or tell Pete what we need to go get. Any reputable pump service will gladly supply you with how much their materials and labor are going to cost, up front.

When the electrical and water lines are exposed and the pumphouse is replaced then the well contactor will come back to pull the pump up, check it out, and rewire it. 

KHQ6 interview

We were interviewed by Demetra Maragos of KHQ6 interview, in front of the North County Food Pantry. Pete and I volunteer there. They asked about evacuating from the fire, what we did next, and the ongoing experience of losing your home in a wildfire (Oregon Rd Elk Wildfire). They also interviewed Sandy Harvey (Pantry Director) and took a tour of the to see how we all choose to help our community after the fire.

Here is the link to the video that was on the tv.

The fire began on August 18, 2023 in the afternoon and rumor has it that it was someone burning brush and it got out of hand, but nothing is confirmed. The investigation is ongoing so no names have been released and I am kind of glad “not to know”.

A friend described this past week as a “Camping Trip From Hell” and I have to agree with that description 100%. We had 20 minutes to throw things into bags and run to the car and pickup truck. So, much stuff… and so little time. We now are coming to realize all of the stuff that we did not bring. BUT, we got what was important, Peter, Valerie and Max.

There are a million stories coming out of this hardship playing tag in my mind. But, the most beautiful part of all of it is the love, surrounding us, as we walk through each day through the tragedy together.

Tax Valuations Are Going Amuck

Our tax valuations are going amuck, amuck, amuck in Elk Washington. You can see a previous post about going to the tax collector meeting in downtown Spokane a while back.

I have experienced a 350% increase in property taxes since 1996 (26 years). 200% of that increase was in the previous 10 years. With valuations/taxes escalating at a rapid rate I fear many will be losing their homes. It is such a shame that we work so hard all our lives to build our places, only to be booted out by a corrupt money-hungry tax system.

1996 land 10 acres Elk, WA $15,800 – single wide mobile $11,700

2008 land 10 acres Elk, WA $50,000 – single wide mobile $15,100

*2009 land 10 acres Elk, WA $50,000 – single wide mobile $74,900

2010 land 10 acres Elk, WA $65,000 – single wide mobile $40,300

2015 land 10 acres Elk, WA $40,000 – house under construction $75,800

2020 land 10 acres Elk, WA $50,000 – house $220,700

2021 land 10 acres Elk, WA $76,2000 – house $322,600

Resource Fair at Riverside Elementary Gym

We went to the Resource Fair at Riverside Elementary Gym from 5:30-7:30 on Tuesday Night. There were tables setup with people handing out supplies and signing you up for programs to assist with recovery from this disaster.
The Samaritans Purse representatives, talked with us about what they do. If you sign upwith them, they will call and schedule a team of volunteers that come in and help go through all the rubble. They only will come out while the owners are present. They wear neon orange shirts carrying ID badges with their names and pictures. Goal is to assist us in getting closure by looking for specific heirloom possessions as they help begin cleaning it up. They will ask you to try and show them where any specific possession may have been located when the structure collapsed. Pete and I signed up to have them come help us as we start cleaning up. It has a surprisingly calming effect to know that someone will be there to help with going through all the debris. We are not alone. Please consider making a call and getting some help too.

The resources were a wider range of assistance. Right as you walked in the door there were boxes of food stacked from Second Harvest, the next table had School backpacks and student supplies with a spin-the-dial for the kids.

CHAS Clinics had a table there with neon green water bottles, and informaion about what medical services they can provide. Very helpful.

The New Hope Resource Center and North County Food Bank had a representative with information about what they provide to serve the community.

SNAP had a table there with phamplets and a knowledgeable guy who was really easy to talk to. If all we were doing was repair, or weatherization we would have been willing to sign up for their programs.

The Church of Latter Day Saints had school supplies for the kids, manned by two very nice girls from here in Riverside.

It is a true blessing to be able to realize how many in our community shine the light of kindness into every day of their lives. The world is better because they are alive.


Rise as One


for the Victims of the Oregon Fire

Fri, 9/1/2023


Riverside High School Stadium

Community Healing Event and Football Game

and Fundraiser Kick OFF

Free Admission

Free Food

Thank you to the sponsors

· GESA Credit Union

· STCU, State Teacher’s Credit Union

· DA Davidson

· NAC Architecture

· DCI Engineers

· Innovia Foundation

· MSI Engineers, Meulink Stauffenberg Inc

· Avista

You can see information on the Riverside High School webpage about upcoming events and the

Innovia “Elk Community Wildfire Fund”

An Innovia Foundation Fundraising poster image is shown on this page but, unfortunately, is only a graphic at this time. Clicking on the image of the poster does not take you to the actual fundraising portal yet. Instead, the links actually just go to the graphic files. This is a small correction to make.

After navigating to the Innovia Foundation site, it was easy to lookup the “Elk Community Wildfire Fund“, and it does appear to be a valid collection. Hopefully, if we all share the link for this, to every person we know, we will be able to collect enough funds to be able to actually help all of the uninsured victims be able to get back on their feet again. You can see the link that needs to be shared on FaceBook, in your emails and anywhere else you can think of.

DNR & Spokane Conservation District

DNR & Spokane Conservation District

Join Us!, for the Washington State Dept of Natural Resources &
Spokane Conservation District informational

“Post Fire Assistance” Meeting


Oregon Rd Fire victims

Thursday, September 7th



Riverside High School
4120 E Deer Park Milan Rd
Chattaroy, WA 99003

Topics include:

· Assessing tree survivability

· Salvage Logging

· Forest practices and regulations

· Slope instability

· Reforestation

· Noxious weeds

· Forest health

· Assistance programs

Download Announcement Here

RHS Meeting Notes 08.29.2023

Outside the RHS meeting at Riverside High School

RHS Meeting

(Riverside) Tues 08/29/23-6pm

According to Spokane County and the Federal Government…

We were there to learn what hoops we need to jump through before we can start to clean up?

Multiple chiefs stood up announcing the procedures required before we could start cleaning up and start over with the goal of making a warm and secure place to stay this winter.

Red Cross, FEMA an State assessment teams will be in our area. Information was presented about another newly setup non-profit “federal committee”, who needs to get a count of how many are affected and how badly affected they are. This data is needed so they can assemble the information and write a complicated report to submit to President BYEden so he can consider allowing FEMA support for our disaster. Sounds like lots of red-tape, data collection with very little noticeable results for the average member of our community. They will have all of that info at hand to try and distribute any donations they find with the focus on the making sure the benefits are distributed evenly. They will be the distributors, with not much for the working middle class of the Elk community, if any

The Sheriff would like to ask that we do not confront or threaten these strangers, some will be escourted by a uniformed officer. Let them collect their disaster data on our properties. If you witness a crime call Crimecheck: at 509..456.2233

Fire Marshall, Jared Harms reported the evacuations are lifted by Monday everywhere an the team will be moving on to othere locations leaving the local teams here to finish mopping up..

Josh Kerns County Commissioner -District 3—Josh-Kenns

Mon-Fri 8:30-5, Phone: 509.477.2265

Spokane County, 1116 W Broadway Ave, Spokane WA 99260 Kerns annonced that any building plans not submitted and approved before October 29, 2023 will fall victim to more stringent bulding codes that go into effect on that date. We are running out of time to be able to rebuld without having more difficuclt codes to adhere to during reconstruction.

The Spokane County Waste Management Team laid down the law for debris removal for people using County landfills. It was strongly stressed that an asbestos test is foremost in their presentation, repeatedly. They admitted that there was already a waiting line for purchasing any asbestos test kits and that the same kind of line exists for people waiting to receive results The same situation was relayed about procuring any services of an asbestos abatement contractor, should you discover asbestos is present. No prices of these requirements were made available at the meeting.

Sunshine Disposal & Recycling, PO Box 13369, Spokane Valley WA

Phone: 509.934.5678 answers with “the mailbox is full, cannot accept messages at this time”.

This firm is in charge of the transportation portion of the Spokane County Waste Disposal System Plan. Contact them first for instructions on what you have to do to utilize the Spokane County “waste disposal system”.

Be sure to take your wallet with you because nothing that they were describing as “required”, is free.

Download Flyer