Yakima Complex Fire 20% contained; 1 building destroyed

Yakima Complex Fire 20% contained; 1 building destroyed
Fire burning in timber near the Old Blewett Pass. Photo courtesy: WIIMT1

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE -- Personnel made good headway building containment lines and mopping up fires yesterday. Field verifications of fire locations continue and fire numbers have been adjusted to accurately reflect what is on the ground. The majority of assigned resources remain focused in the Blewett Pass area. Five fires combined in the Lion Rock area as an 80 acre fire. Air drops of fire retardant helped reduce spread. The Wild Rose Fire near Rimrock has increased slightly in size to 480 acres due to difficult, steep ground conditions with 175 personnel assigned to the incident. Fire suppression activities are being prioritized based on risk to life, property and resources.

Traffic safety: There is significant fire emergency traffic on Highway 97 in the Blewett Pass area and on Highway 12 near Rimrock.  Heavy smoke approaching Blewett Summit from the Lions Rock fire reduces visibility. Drivers are advised to use caution and slow down when travelling in these areas.
 
Incident Summary: There are an estimated 90 lightning fires with 20 contained, 9 staffed, 27 in patrol status, 17 still need verification and 9 are unstaffed. Yesterday’s fire behavior was slow to moderate fire growth. No communities are at risk and no evacuations are in effect. There is potential risk for up to 50 buildings throughout the area. The Yakima Complex Fire includes large areas of Yakima and Kittitas Counties.

Weather Outlook: A warming trend is expected to last through Friday with a dry cold front expected this weekend. No precipitation is expected in the next week. Increased winds are expected today shifting to come out of the Northwest.

Closures: To ensure the safety of the public and firefighters, the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest will be issuing an area closure for FS Rd. 9703 along Stafford Creek in the Teanaway Area. Road closures are in effect in the Table Mountain Area. All road closures are staffed. Closures potentially impact hunters. Cooperation with road closures is appreciated.

Due to high fire danger campfires are prohibited on all county, state and federal lands in the area.

Resources at Risk:  No injuries have been reported at this time. Additional values at risk include timber, historical sites, spotted owl habitat, and mining operations.

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