Daily Update 9-21-12
Incident: Table Mountain Wildfire
The First Creek, Lion's Rock, Diamond Head, and County Line fires are now being considered one fire, Table Mountain. The fire perimeter is approximately 40 miles. Yesterday the fire mainly burned within its perimeters. Fireline is being reinforced around homes on the south side. Night crews made considerable progress on fireline on the west flank and around to the south. The structure protection group continues to prep homes, cabins and other structures in the Liberty community and Liberty Mountain areas, and the powerline area to the south.
Today fire crews will be working diligently using a combination of hand line construction, dozers, and aircraft, focusing on the west and south flanks of the fire. Objectives will include an indirect attack utilizing road systems, natural barriers and constructed fire breaks.
Fire management staff from Table Mountain Fire and the Wenatchee Complex are working together to develop a coordinated strategy as Table Mountain and the Peavine Fire are likely to burn together.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has again closed US Highway 97 from the junction of Highway 2 south to the Lauderdale Junction. The highway will be reopened as soon as possible, depending on fire activity, smoke conditions, and firefighting traffic. For the most updated information visit the DOT website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/.
All evacuation levels from yesterday are still in place. For information on evacuation levels log onto the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center website at: www.co.kittitas.wa.us. You can then go to the Kittitas County response page and click on Interactive Maps.
A Red Cross Shelter has been set up for people affected by evacuation orders. The shelter can provide meals, toiletries, or other services, even for those who do not need to sleep there. The shelter is located at Mercer Creek Church, 407 North "B" Street in Ellensburg. An emergency livestock shelter has been set up at the Kittitas County Event Center Fairgrounds.
Weather temperatures are expected to continue warm and dry with low relative humidity. South winds will tend to push fire to the north, which will help containment on the south line. The probability of ignition will approach 80%, with spotting up to ½ mile. There will be little humidity recovery at night so the fire will continue to spread down slope. Fire danger remains high across Washington State. Be sure to check with your fire agencies for local fire restrictions, forest and state closures.
Due to the many fires burning throughout Central and Eastern Washington, heavy smoke continues to fill the valleys and drainages. Fires producing potentially harmful smoke can be of concern to elderly, young children, and anyone with respiratory health conditions. The public is urged to limit outdoor activities, use good quality face masks and to take precautions until smoke conditions improve. For more information on air quality: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/local.html.
A community meeting for residents of the town of Liberty will be held at the Liberty Fire Hall at 4:00 p.m. today.
Road Closures: USFS and DNR roads - Reecer Creek Rd. at the Snowpack, Wilson Creek Rd. at the end of the county road, Coleman Canyon Rd., Schnebly Canyon Rd., and Cook Canyon Rd. Additional roads include - Liberty Rd., Williams Creek Rd., Harkness Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. east of Red Top Rd., Cougar Gulch Rd., Boulder Creek Rd., Upper Green Canyon Rd., Sun East Rd. at the top of Robbins Rd., and Elk Springs Rd.