YAKIMA, Wash. -- Progress is slow controlling the larger fires in the region. Hundreds of homes around the Table Mountain Complex Fire in Kittitas County are in danger.
It's now grown to more than 11,000 acres and is barely contained.
Level three evacuations are in effect for areas near Elk Springs Road and Upper Green Canyon Road. It also spreads east to Wilson Creek Road.
The fire forced the closure of a stretch of Blewett pass on US Highway 97.
Wild Rose Fire
A large fire near Rimrock Lake continues to threaten dozens of homes. More than 2,000 acres have burned there.
It's part of the bigger Yakima Complex Fire made up of about 80 smaller fires.
Crews spent the day putting out hotspots. The northeast corner is a challenge due to a rocky, steep terrain.
Containment lines are being created around homes. Mandatory evacuations for Wild Rose have not been issued.
The Wild Rose fire is about 15 percent contained.
So far 3,000 acres have burned in the Yakima Complex. One outbuilding was destroyed.
- Here's an update on wildfires in the area from Incident Management:
Table Mountain Fire
Firefighters continue to battle several fires in steep, rough terrain on the Table Mountain Complex. The highest priority fires are: First Creek, Lion's Rock, Diamond Head and County Line. As the inversion lifted yesterday, fire activity increased creating smoke columns that could be seen by the surrounding communities of Liberty, Cle Elum, and Ellensburg.
A LEVEL 3 EVACUATION NOTICE HAS BEEN ISSUED EFFECTIVE 2:00 PM WEDNESDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS: the area encompassing Elk Springs Road and Upper Green Canyon Road east to Wilson Creek Road and above the northern-most set of power lines. A Red Cross emergency shelter is set up at the Mercer Creek Church at 1407 N. B Street, Ellensburg. An emergency livestock shelter is set up at the Kittitas County Event Center-Fairgrounds.
Fire activity continued through the night and reports indicate that one forest service cabin was lost and one UNCONFIRMED cabin lost. An additional fire emerged approximately 1 1/2 miles north of the Reecer Road and is believed to have been a holdover from a lightning strike that moved through the area earlier this month. Official release is posted above the map on this page.
Planned objectives for today will be an indirect attack on the fires utilizing natural barriers, constructing breaks and road systems. Fire officials anticipate that the Lion's Rock, Diamond Head and County Line Fires will merge over the next several days.
The Yakima Complex started on Saturday, September 8th during a significant lightning storm. Over 3,000 strikes occurred in Eastern Washington, igniting well over 100 fires. The Yakima Complex is being managed by Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #1 (WIIMT#1); the Team is focusing on lightning fires in Kittitas and Yakima Counties. There are approximately ninty-five fires in the complex. WIIMT#1 is prioritizing staffing of each fire based on assessment of risk to life, comunities, and resources. There are approximately 700 personnel working on the Complex.
Crews will continue to patrol and mop up contained fires. Line construction with air support and burn out expected today on the Wild Rose Fire. Firefighters will improve lines and start mop up on French Cabin Creek fire. Patrol for new fires throughout the Complex.
Travellers are advised to use extra caution with increased fire traffic, especially along Highway 97 and Highway 12.
Current evacuation information is available by choosing the "Announcements" tab on the menu bar above. This information is generated from the Chelan County Sherriff's Department.
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a "Ready, Set, Go" level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment's notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
The Wenatchee Complex is the result of an extensive, severe lightning storm which occurred the evening of Saturday, September 9, 2012. Lightning strikes were reported to have started close to 100 individual fires. Priority response has been given to those areas which posed the greatest threat to life and communities. Responders from the United States Forest Service (USFS), Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Spokane District BLM, Wenatchee Fire Districts 1 and 7, Chelan Fire Districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and Chelan County Sheriff's office continue suppression efforts. The Wenatchee Complex includes over 50 lightning-caused fires burning in Chelan County.
The incident command post (ICP) for the Wenatchee Complex is at Confluence State Park in Wenatchee, WA. An additional basecamp is set up at Entiat City Park in Entiat, WA.
Visitors and recreationalist can still visit Lake Chelan, Wenatchee and other communities in the area to enjoy the many amenities they have to offer.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.