Gray Fire Emergency Updates - August 2023

This page will provide updates on the Gray Fire that started Friday, Aug. 18 and its impacts to Eastern State Hospital and Lakeland Village Residential Habilitation Center near Medical Lake, WA.

We will update as soon as new information is available to us. You can also follow the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Wildfire Twitter account and Spokane County Emergency Management Facebook page for current information on the status of local wildfires. Thank you.

UPDATE 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31: Gov. Inslee signed a proclamation making certain residents of Pend Oreille, Spokane and Whitman counties potentially eligible for the Disaster Cash Assistance Program. Learn more about DCAP here.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24: Eastern State Hospital and Lakeland Village are no longer sheltering in place. Power and internet are restored, and recovery continues at both facilities.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23: Eastern State Hospital is no longer sheltering in place and is at Level 1 - Ready for evacuations if conditions change. Lakeland Village remains sheltered in place at Level 2. 

In-person visitation is now available for patients and families at Eastern State Hospital; however, if conditions change, limitations may be necessary, including but not limited to COVID-19 prevention needs and changes in evacuation status. We ask that family members contact the hospital to confirm if the evacuation level and COVID-19 cases are appropriate for visitation. If you are planning to visit Eastern State Hospital, please call 509-565-4000 to confirm that fire level status and COVID-19 status are appropriate for visitation.

UPDATE 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22: Staff, patients and residents at both facilities remain sheltered in place and power has been restored.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20: Staff, patients and residents at both facilities are safe and remain sheltered in place. Governor Inslee is visiting the area today to meet with incident command leaders; he is also checking in with staff and residents at Lakeland Village. 

UPDATE 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19: Staff, patients and residents at both facilities are safe and remain sheltered in place.

UPDATE 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18: All Lakeland Village residents returned to their homes, after the fire marshal confirmed it was safe to do so. Our staff have also returned to the Lakeland campus. 

UPDATE 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18: Eastern State Hospital and Lakeland Village Residential Habilitation Center remain sheltered in place. Resident, patient and staff safety remains our top priority. 

Some residents and staff from Lakeland Village were relocated to Eastern State Hospital over the course of the afternoon; however, all residents, patients and staff have remained sheltered in place on the two campuses and have not evacuated elsewhere. 

We do not anticipate evacuation orders at this time but are prepared if they should come from local incident command. We encourage our staff and everyone in the Medical Lake area to stay safe and alert, and to follow local emergency guidance. We are also closely monitoring the fire's status as it relates to people who receive DSHS supports and live in the community, in adult family homes and other residences. We will provide additional updates as we have them. 

We are grateful for the excellent collaboration and support of our local, state and federal partners.

As of 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, the Gray Fire is burning near Medical Lake and has also threatened Eastern State Hospital and Lakeland Village Residential Habilitation Center. We are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our patients, residents and staff. Patients and staff at Eastern State Hospital are sheltering in place, joined by most of our Lakeland Village residents. Buses are ready on site in case evacuations are necessary. Plans are in place to move medically fragile residents of Lakeland Village to area nursing homes and hospitals if necessary.  DSHS  has activated its Emergency Command Center and we are following our emergency procedures to streamline agency response. We will provide further information as it becomes available.