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August 4, 2013 at 1:51 PM
The 80,400-acre Colockum Tarps Fire near Wenatchee was about 60 percent contained on Sunday, state officials said.
High relative humidity, cooler temperatures and cloud cover kept fire activity down over the last couple of days, according to the Washington Incident Management Team. The likelihood, however, of increasing temperatures is forecast throughout much of Washington over the next week and a statewide burn ban issued last week remains in effect.
The Colockum Tarps Fire has been burning since Saturday, July 27, 2013, through dry grass, sagebrush and timber growing in steep drainages along the western shore of the Columbia River, 11 miles southwest of Wenatchee. On July 31, easterly winds pushed the fire toward a sparsely populated areas along the Parke, Caribou and Colockum Roads in Kittitas County and the residents of 45 homes were evacuated.
According to the incident team, fire crews at the Colockum fire are waiting for drier weather to burn the remaining fuel and timber inside the containment zone.
The 1,600-acre Riverside Block Complex Fire, near Omak, was still smoldering Sunday with firefighters preventing new starts and mopping up the existing fires. The 50-acre Methow Complex Fire, that was caused by lightning, was being mopped up Sunday, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NICC). Another smaller blaze, a 1,500-acre fire near Chelan was almost completely contained on Saturday, but was still being monitored by fire crews, according to the NICC.
Near Goldendale, a 27,000-acre fire continued to burn, but was nearly 90 percent contained and was expected to be extinguished by Tuesday, incident officials said. The evacuation order for structures south of the fire was lifted, but concerns about smoke as a public health hazard remained.
The National Weather Service said that temperatures were expected to rise into next week with a forecast for mostly sunny skies in the early part of the week.
The burn ban issued by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources will be in effect through Sept. 30, according to state officials. The ban prohibits campfires in developed campgrounds and other recreational fires as well as prescribed burns.
Peter Goldmark, commissioner of public lands, said last week that hot and dry conditions have made the potential for wildfire unusually high on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.
July 31, 2013 at 1:55 PM
WENATCHEE (AP) — Authorities in Central Washington ordered a new round of evacuations Wednesday near a surging wildfire, as firefighters worked to better control the blaze before thunderstorms swept through the region.
The fire danger was expected to remain high in Eastern Washington through Thursday amid the threat of lightning strikes from thunderstorms and gusty winds.
The Colockum Tarps Fire south of Wenatchee was burning across 93 square miles of grass, sagebrush and timber in Chelan and Kittitas counties, and winds from the east were pushing the blaze into timber to the west.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office ordered residents of about 75 homes and cabins to evacuate Wednesday, and several recreation areas were closed, fire officials said.
In addition, a horse and Bible camp with 40 horses and eight children was evacuated, the Ellensburg Daily Record reported.
The fire was about a half mile from the Wild Horse Wind Farm, which was closed to the public.
About 370 firefighters were working to control the blaze, which was 8 percent contained, fire officials said.
Near Goldendale, Klickitat County, firefighters gained ground on a blaze that had closed Highway 97 for days.
The Mile Marker 28 Fire was 60 percent contained. The Washington Department of Transportation reopened the highway Wednesday, with pilot cars leading vehicles through the fire area. Delays of up to one hour were expected.
Fire crews built a fire line around the fire, which burned about 35 square miles near Satus Pass, about 15 miles northeast of Goldendale, fire spokesman Dam Omdal said.
More than 1,300 firefighters were on the line mopping up hot spots and strengthening fire lines.
July 29, 2013 at 8:30 AM
The Associated Press
Fire officials say they are starting to get control over a large wildfire burning near Goldendale on top of Satus Pass.
Spokesman Randy Shepard of the interagency fire management team says the fire has grown to almost 32 square miles, but it is now about 25 percent contained. He says weather conditions are favorable for more progress on Monday.
He says fire officials are confident they will have a line around the fire within the next few days.
The fire covered about 27 square miles on Sunday and has been growing to the east through rough terrain. It’s about 7 miles from the small town of Bickleton, but Shepard says fire officials do not expect the fire to get near the village.
Highway 97 is still closed between Goldendale and Toppenish and will remain closed as long as necessary for safety reasons.
About 1,200 people are fighting the fire. A few more homes have been added to the evacuation notices but no structures have been destroyed. The fire threatens about 144 structures, including about 70 residences.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Meanwhile, a brush fire burning 20 miles south of Wenatchee has grown to more than 10 square miles.
The wildfire in the Colockum Pass area has burned five houses since breaking out Saturday.
A spokesman for fire managers, Rick Issackson, tells KPQ the five homes lost are in addition to other structures destroyed in the fire.
About 40 homes are threatened in the area residents have been evacuated, and the Red Cross has set up a shelter at a church in the city.
Fire crews continue to fight a third fire near North Bend where an 18-acre wildfire is burning on the south side of Mount Si. No structures are threatened by that fire.
July 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Nearly 1,200 firefighters are battling a wildlfire that has grown to about 14 square miles near Goldendale, Wash. The fire along the top of Satus Pass is threatening about 180 homes, but none has been damaged.
The Klickitat County sheriff’s office has issued evacuation notices for the homes.
Mark Grassel of the interagency fire management team says the fire is only 3 percent contained and most of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish remains closed. The fire grew on Friday to the south and the east.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the fire danger in much of Eastern Washington, including Goldendale, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Moses Lake.
A community meeting is being held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Klickitat Public Utility District office, 1313 Columbus, Goldendale.
In Chelan County, a fire near Malaga has grown to an estimated 1,000 acres and threatens about 60 residences. Evacuations are in place, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The cause of the fire, which started Saturday, is unknown.
July 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM
GOLDENDALE (AP) — A wildfire burning near Satus Pass doubled in size to about 4,600 acres, or about 7 square miles, a state Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman said Friday.
Firefighters are still trying to build lines to contain the fire that broke out Monday, burning grass, brush and timber, said spokeswoman Janet Pearce in Olympia.
One structure — not necessarily a home — has been lost, Pearce said. About 30 homes in the area are threatened, with some people evacuating.
Most of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish in south-central Washington, including Satus Pass, remained closed due to smoke and the danger of debris rolling off steep hillsides.
Pearce described fire conditions Friday as extreme.
The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the danger in much of Eastern Washington, including areas around Goldendale, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Moses Lake.
Firefighters had better luck with a fire that broke out Thursday in Okanogan County near Twisp. A quick response with seven engines and a helicopter had it contained Friday at just 5 acres, Pearce said.
May 3, 2012 at 6:36 AM
Weather: Forget the rain today, tomorrow and Saturday. Look at Monday: Chart says 65 degrees. Yeah, we’ll believe when we see it., Nevertheless, it appears the sun is going to try to peak out on Saturday. And Sunday looks downright sunny with a high temperature of 60 degrees. Time to get out and cut the grass and plant those flowers and veggies. The National Weather Service forecast.
Traffic: The map and cams.
Ryan Leaf in court today: The former WSU and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf is scheduled to answer to charges that he broke into two homes in Montana to steal prescription drugs.
Those Sounders: It hasn’t happened in a regular league match since 2009, but last night Sounders FC beat Los Angeles Galaxy with goals by newcomer (to the team, that is) Eddie Johnson and Freddie Montero.
Teaching assistant fired: Remember we said a teaching assistant at Goldendale High School was charged with having “sexual contact” with a 16-year-old student? Well, she’s been fired, The Goldendale Sentinel says on its website.
Death with Dignity: At least 70 people in the state died last year after asking for and taking lethal drugs as part of the state’s Death with Dignity law, according to the state Health Department.
Cops did OK: Well, that’s what at least 61 percent of those who voted in our poll have said when asked if they agreed or disagreed with this statement: Seattle police did a good job handling violent May Day protesters Tuesday. If you want to weigh in, click here.
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Rain drives May Day protesters away after earlier outbreak of vandalism
- Boeing shows radical design for 737 MAX winglets
- Sparks fly over Dan Savage’s comments to students about Bible
- Junior Seau found dead at California home
- Heightened dispute over Kings puts Seattle closer to NBA team | Steve Kelley
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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