September 18 Daily Update
Incident: Yakima Complex Wildfire
Current Situation: The Wild Rose fire continues to grow towards the east at a moderate pace. The fire is currently around 2,000 acres and is threatening 25 homes. Erratic winds in the Rimrock area are making it difficult to predict fire behavior. Crews are working in day and night shifts to make progress on the fire. Expect intermittent closures along Highway 12. Other fires within the complex are being evaluated, prioritized and staffed as appropriate. Initial attacks continue to occur as new starts arise. Air quality will remain an issue due to the multiple fires across the region. An air stagnation advisory issued by the National Weather Service is in effect till Wednesday.
Weather Outlook: A strong high pressure ridge is making temperatures unseasonably warm and conditions dry. No precipitation is expected in the next week. Winds out the northwest 5 to 8 mph with gusts up to 12 mph after 2:00 pm.
Injuries: Yesterday, a base camp staff member was treated and released back to camp with a toe injury.
Incident Summary: There are an estimated 75 lightning fires in the Yakima Complex. Fire suppression activities are being prioritized based on risk to life, property and resources. Fires are being actively suppressed and progress is being made.
Traffic safety: There is significant fire emergency traffic on Highway 97 in the Blewett Pass area and Highway 12 near Rimrock and the Wild Rose Fire. Drivers are advised to use caution, slow down, and expect some delays when travelling in these areas.
Fire Prevention: Trees, shrubs, grasses and other vegetation provide fuel for fires. Reducing or even eliminating vegetation close to structures is a way to create defensible space against a wildfire. A defensible space doesn't have to be an eyesore. Firebreaks (things that don't burn) can be incorporated into your landscape design. Some examples of firebreaks are: concrete, brick or gravel walkways, concrete flower box borders or planters, and water features, such as a pond. Even a backyard swimming pool can serve as a firebreak. For more information, visit http://firewise.org/.
Forest Closures: The Cle Elum Ranger District has issued a closure for French Cabin Trail #1307 and Kachess Trail #1315.
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: 3000
Structures Destroyed: 1 outbuilding
Closures: Stafford Creek area in Teanaway, and Trails in French Cabin Area (see below)
Water Tenders: 7
Total personnel: 693