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Central Washington University

Lightning-caused fire burns 12 miles north of Ellensburg

A lightning-caused fire that started Saturday night 12 miles north of Ellensburg has prompted the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office to issue evacuation orders for threatened neighborhoods and recreation areas.

The evacuated area includes the entire Sun East area, Robbins Road north of Smithson Road and east to Naneum Creek, north to the northern boundary of Township 20 north Range 19 east, and west to Forest Service Road 3500, according to the sheriff's office. Robbins Road is closed at Smithson Road to all traffic except fire personnel. The U.S. Forest Service also closed Forest Service Road 3500 and the Lion Rock area north of the fire. The state Department of Natural Resources has closed the western half of the Naneum Ridge State Forest. Officers will be contacting people recreating in the area.

The Kittitas County Chapter of the American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg. The Kittitas County Fairgrounds is open for emergency shelter for livestock and animals.

The fire, known as the Snag Canyon Fire, started Saturday evening when a thunderstorm rolled through Kittitas County. A state Department of Natural Resources response team is managing the fire

Air quality in Ellensburg was good Monday morning according to the state Department of Ecology's air monitoring website.

For more information, including status maps of the the Snag Canyon Fire, visit Kittitas County’s emergency response information page. The county’s Emergency Operations Center can be reached at 509-933-8305.

August 4, 2014