September 22 Daily Update
Incident: Yakima Complex Wildfire
Current Situation: Positive progress continues to be made on the Wild Rose fire and is at 70% containment. Crews will carry on with mop up activities as well as improving fire line. Smoke was visible from other fires within the complex; however, none escaped their containment lines. Firefighters will be staffing fires that are still producing heat and monitoring others. With increased weekend activity, crews will be patrolling areas of high recreation use. The change in weather brings the chance of thunderstorms with dry lightning. Firefighters will be on high alert for these changes and ready for initial attacks, if needed.
Weather Outlook: A chance of thunderstorms could produce dry lightning over the area late tonight through Sunday morning. Gusty and erratic winds will also be possible with any thunderstorm activity. Chance of rain will continue to be very low throughout the week. Winds will be out of the southeast 6 to 8 mph with gusts up to 14 mph.
Incident Summary: There are an estimated 75 lightning fires in the Yakima Complex. Most are small, contained and being monitored. Fires in the upper elevation areas are being evaluated to determine an appropriate course of action based on management objectives.
Traffic safety: The weekend brings an increase in traffic and recreationalists. There is significant fire emergency traffic on Highway 97 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: Hunters and campers can follow a few easy precautions to protect themselves and our forests when recreating. Think twice before driving into a grassy field. Avoid parking over tall, dry grass or piles of leaves that can touch the underside of a vehicle. Always carry an approved fire extinguisher on vehicles that are used off road. If allowed (check with your local forest or state park), when making a campfire, clear a zone around the fire ring from any debris. Winds can blow stray sparks and debris outside the ring can become tinder. Store your unused firewood a good distance from the fire. Never leave a campfire unattended, extinguish fires each night and before leaving camp (even if it is just a few minutes). For more information, visit http://firewise.org/.
Air Quality: A new website has been created, providing air quality information as smoke from the wildfires fills the skies throughout central and eastern Washington. Visit http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/.
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
Closures: Stafford Creek area in Teanaway, and Trails in French Cabin Area (see below)
Water Tenders: 11
Total personnel: 611