Evacuations and Forest Closures
Incident: Yakima Complex Wildfire
Table Mountain Fire Forces Evacuations, Forest Closures
The expansion and merger of multiple wildfires in the Swauk Creek / Table Mountain area have prompted the Kittitas County Sheriff to direct level-1, 2 and 3 evacuations of area residents. Evacuees are asked to check in with emergency officials at the Upper County Senior Center, 719 E. Third, in Cle Elum. The evacuation notices follow a declaration of emergency by the Kittitas County Commission this morning.
A level 1 evacuation advises residents fire is in the area and they should prepare to leave; level 2 advises residents to be ready to leave within 30 minutes should the situation change; level 3advises residents of imminent danger and the need to leave immediately.
Following are areas affected by the evacuation order:
Level 3: Liberty, Williams Creek, Harkness, Pine Gulch, Liberty Mountain Association, Cougar Gulch, and Boulder Creek
Level 2: Upper Green Canyon, the top of the Naneum drainage, Wilson Creek, and the Sun East housing development at the top of Robbins Road.
Level 1: SR 97 to the Liberty Cafe and the northern foothills of lower Kittitas County
Red Cross representatives will be available at the Senior Center in Cle Elum to identify the needs of evacuees and their livestock or pets. The Washington State Patrol has approved a mobilization act which will allow the release of additional fire engines and law enforcement personnel in the affected area.
The expansion of the fire has forced the closure of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest east of State Highway 97 (extending from Blewett Pass, south along Highway 97 to the vicinity of Liberty Cafï¿½), along the northern boundary of the Cle Elum Ranger District on the county line, extending down the eastern boundary of the Cle Elum Ranger District, and along the southern edge of the Cle Elum Ranger District.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has closed the entire Naneum State Forest. There is no immediate threat; however, the closure is being implemented for public and fire fighter safety. DNR personnel will be in the area issuing notifications. The public will be updated as these closures expand or decrease.
The wildfires are burning in the Liberty and Table Mountain areas; the fires have grown together and are now estimated to be more than 2500 acres. This fire is being managed as part of the Yakima Complex. Over 800 firefighters are working on the fires in Yakima and Kittitas Counties, with more resources expected to arrive today.
For more information please see www.inciweb.org/incident/3256. Residents affected by the fire please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 509-933-8305. For fire information please contact the Yakima Complex Information Office at 509-925-1193.