September 15 Daily Update
Incident: Yakima Complex Wildfire
Current Situation: Fire activity increased substantially overnight in the Table Mountain area. Fires in the Liberty and Table Mountain areas grew together and are increasing in size. This has prompted Kittitas County Sheriff to direct level-1, 2 and 3 evacuations of area residents; see http://inciweb.org/incident/3256 for details. Crews established lateral breaks on the east and west perimeters of the Wild Rose fire near Rimrock. The fire is in proximity of State Highway 12 and single lane closures are in effect. An additional Type 2 Incident Management Team is being mobilized to assist fire suppression efforts in Kittitas County.
Evacuation Information: Sherriff Deputies are contacting residents impacted by fires. All evacuated residents are asked to check in with the Kittitas County Sheriff emergency officials at the Upper County Senior Center, 719 E. Third in Cle Elum. A Red Cross shelter is being established for displaced residents.
Forest Closures: The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest has issued an Area Closure east of State Highway 97 (extending from Blewett Pass, south along Highway 97 to the vicinity of Liberty Café), along the northern boundary of the Cle Elum Ranger District along 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 Department of Natural Resources has issued a closure of 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. A state-wide burn ban is currently in effect.
Incident Summary: Of the estimated 90 lightning fires in the Yakima Complex, 10 are contained, 9 staffed, 35 no longer staffed but being monitored, 25 still need verification, and 7 are unstaffed. Fire suppression activities are being prioritized based on risk to life, property and resources.
Weather Outlook: A dry cold front this weekend will bring increased wind; up to 15 to 30 mph. No precipitation is expected in the next week.
Traffic safety: There is significant fire emergency traffic on Highway 97 in the Blewett Pass area and on Highway 12 near Rimrock. Drivers are advised to use caution and slow down when travelling in these areas.
For road and trail closure information contact: Cle Elum Ranger District: 509.852.1100, Naches Ranger District: 509.653.1401 DNR Southeast Region office: 509.925.8522
Cooperating Agencies: Department of Natural Resources, Kittitas Valley Fire Rescue, Kittitas County Fire Districts 1 and 7, Kittitas and Yakima County Sheriff Departments, United States Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management
Acres Burned: approx. 3000
Structures Destroyed: 1 outbuilding
Closures: Table Mountain area & Stafford Creek area in Teanaway (see below)
Water Tenders: 9
Total personnel: 780