A wildfire burning 12 miles north of Ellensburg has destroyed six homes and 10 other structures, said Jill Beedle, spokeswoman for the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center.
A lightning strike ignited the fire Saturday, and the flames expanded to almost 1,930 acres (about 3 square miles) by Monday evening. Emergency workers announced mandatory evacuations over the weekend for the foothills north and east of the blaze, called the Snag Canyon Fire. The region southeast of the fire has been downgraded to a Level 2 evacuation, meaning residents should be ready to leave if the fire closes in.
The fire was 10 percent contained as of Monday evening — up from zero percent Sunday, said Cory Wall, spokesman for Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 1.
“Any containment value that increases is always good news,” said Wall. “We’re going to be running the night shift tonight and hopefully make some good headway this evening.”
The Red Cross has a shelter ready to open if displaced residents need a place to sleep, said Beedle. She urged those who have lost property to file damage reports with the emergency operations center (509-933-8305) as soon as they can.
“Our message right now is we want those people to contact us when they can, as soon as possible, so we can get that ball rolling,” she said.
There have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to the Snag Canyon Fire, said Beedle.
About 2 1/2 hours north, in the Methow Valley, firefighters expect to fully contain the Rising Eagle Road portion of the Carlton Complex Fire Monday evening, said Anne Jeffrey, spokeswoman for the team battling the fire.
The road, between Twisp and Winthrop, is under Level 2 evacuation.
The 253,377-acre (396 square miles) Carlton Complex Fire has been burning since mid-July, and is 82 percent contained. Currently 1,748 emergency responders are battling the fire, 57 fewer than Sunday, said Jeffrey.
“We’re more in a mop-up and secure-the-line operation, rather than actually suppressing the fire,” she said. “We have a good line around most of the fire.”