Central Washington University is providing emergency services support for the Taylor Bridge Fire. Please check this page for updates about community services and events, and contact information for other emergency service providers. Status reports about the fire itself are available from the Department of Natural Resources.
To contact the university for information about support services, please call the CWU Department of Public Affairs at 509-963-1221. We'll help you find the information, the services, and the people you need.
Thursday, Aug. 30
The CWU Foundation account dedicated to the Taylor Bridge Fire has collected more than $9,100 in donations. There's still time to donate to this account, the proceeds of which go to the Red Cross support for fire victims, but we'll close down the site as of midnight tonight and deliver a final check to the Red Cross next week. We'll post a final donation tally on the Central Today website (www.cwu.edu/news) as soon as we have that info. The url for the account (until midnight tonight) is www.mycentral.cwu.edu/Taylor_Bridge_Fire. Thanks to everyone for their generous support!
It's also just about time to close down this site, which we put up to help sort information soon after the first struck. The Taylor Bridge Update site will go dark at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. August 31. We have appreciated your feedback and the wonderful collaboration we've experienced over the last few weeks.
Sunday, Aug. 26
Brittany Steward, the manager of the Holiday Inn Express, organized the "community closet" when the fire broke out and is still managing donations for fire victims.
Brittany confirms that no clothes are needed. However, she says families need laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, paper towels and garbage bags. Bring these items by the Holiday Inn if you're in a giving mood! If you're feeling more like sorting stuff, Brittany could use some volunteers. You can reach her at (206) 455-5658.
Of course cash donations are still welcome. So far the CWU Foundation has collected $8,700 in the Taylor Fire fund. This account will be open a bit longer if you'd still like to donate.
As of Saturday morning the fire was 91 percent contained and all fire was out within the 40-plus miles of fire line, except for a few hotspots. Fire managers said the fire won't really be considered OUT until snow falls.
During the height of the fire, which started August 13, approximately 1000 personnel and resources involved in the fight. Personnel are now based at the Thorp Elementary School and number approximately 150.
Fire management now will be focusing on four major efforts:
1) Extinguish all hot spots within 300 feet from the perimeter of the fire and 100 feet from all structures.
2) Rehabilitate bulldozer lines on the interior and exterior of the blackened area, which consists of water bars where necessary on slopes.
3) Repair fences that were destroyed by fire fighting efforts.
4) Recover 75,000 feet of hose and associated pumps, if not needed for further mop up efforts.
Friday, Aug. 24
A total of 610 firefighters are still battling the 23,500-acre Taylor Bridge wildfire, which is listed as 91 percent contained. Full containment is not expected until the middle of next week. The fire will not be considered controlled until snowfall covers the area. Using infrared heat sensors, fire crews are continuing to comb hillsides in search of hidden hot spots. Demobilization of excess firefighters and suppression equipment will begin tonight. A new incident management team will continue the current mop-up operations.
Implementation of the rehabilitation plan has begun, the goal of which is to mitigate and eliminate environmental impacts caused by the fire and fire suppression efforts, and to restore the area to its natural state. Firefighters will be working closely with local resource advisors to mitigate short- and long-term soil erosion loss, minimize sediment delivery into streams and drainages in order to maintain water quality, mitigate the effects along riparian corridors, prevent establishment of new weed species, maintain visual quality of major forest roads and recreational sites, and remove all suppression related materials.
Access to certain fire-affected areas is restricted to residents and emergency personnel. There are no road closures associated with the fire, other than state Department of Transportation work on State Route 10.
Thursday, Aug. 23
Fire crews continue to work on the control line in the northern edge of the fire with an estimated containment date of next Wednesday. Steep and dangerous rocky terrain is the primary challenge on the northern perimeter of the fire, which makes it difficult to attain the 300-foot mop-up standard. Last night a small flare up occurred inside the control lines near the north perimeter of the fire. Fire crews quickly suppressed it. The fire continues to burn unburned fuels within the perimeter of the fire at the north end of the blaze and residents should expect to see smoke in that area.
The remainder of the fire area is in either mop-up or patrol status. Handheld thermal detection devices continue to be utilized to detect hot spots. Crews continue working on erosion control in both the interior of the fire and along control lines. Fire patrols are continuing around the clock.
Yesterday at 6:00 p.m. all remaining Level 3 evacuation areas were reduced to Level 2 (residents only). Road blocks will remain in place on Hidden Valley Road at Lambert Road and 1.5 miles east of Taylor Road on Lambert Road to help ensure that only local residents, fire crews, and other essential resources have access to the area. The Lauderdale junction area north of SR970 is emergency Level 1. State Route 970 and State Route 97 are open.
Residents should contact the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center at 933-8305, to verify whether their home falls under the reduced emergency level or view a current map here.
Wednesday, Aug. 22
Air quality in Kittitas County has improved over the past few days with the fire dying down and the winds clearing the air. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, 24-hour averages of air quality at the Ellensburg monitoring station have been in the “good” to “moderate” ranges for the past few days.
However, wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour are expected in the area over the next few days according to the National Weather Service. The windy conditions may result in fire flare ups and/or blowing dust and ash from the fire site. Ash and dust from the fire site will contain the same fine particulate matter found in smoke that can be harmful to health. It is important for residents to continue to monitor air quality and take appropriate precautions:
Information about other health issues to consider after the fire can be found on the Kittitas County Public Health Department website: www.co.kittitas.wa.us/health
On Thursday, Aug. 23, representatives of county, state, faith-based, and other human-services organizations will be available to meet with people directly affected by the Taylor Bridge wildfire. The Kittitas County Department of Emergency Management is bringing the agencies together to make it easier for people to find and meet with many agencies at once.
The "one-stop" Resource Recovery Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Green Hall on the campus of Central Washington University. Green Hall is located adjacent to CWU’s Student Village complex, between Nicholson Boulevard and 18th Street off Alder Street. Free parking will be available in CWU parking lots V18 and V22 for those visiting the Resource Recovery Center.
The agencies invited to participate include the following:
American Red Cross
Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health
Chestnut Street Baptist Church
Housing Authority of Kittitas County
Kittitas County Building Department
Kittitas County Environmental Health
Kittitas County Public Health Department
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Kittitas County PUD
Kittitas County Conservation District
Washington State Insurance Commissioner representative
For additional information, call the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center at 509-933-8305.
Tuesday, Aug. 21
Fire management officials are optimistic that full containment of the Taylor Bridge wildfire could happen later today, as firefighters continue to battle the north side of the blaze. While winds, expected to gust today to 40 mph, won't help, lower temperatures and higher humidity is expected to aid fire crews.
New estimates are that the firefighting effort alone has cost $7.2 million. In addition, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office has finished 90 percent of its damage assessment. It's been determined that 51 homes and cabins were completed destroyed by the fire, as were 26 other buildings. In addition, six houses and cabins sustained partial damage. The damage estimate for those losses is another $8.3 million.
A community meeting for residents of the Ellensburg Ranches Road, and along Highway 10 and upper State Route 97 has been scheduled for tonight at 7 at the Thorp Fire Station. Kittitas County Fire District No. 1 Fire Chief D.J. Evans will help lead that meeting. Again, it is only for those living on the Ellensburg Ranches Road, and along Highway 10 and upper State Route 97.
Monday, Aug. 20
Individuals and families in need of assistance with housing and other basic needs because of the Taylor Bridge wildfire are now being asked to contact the Red Cross at 925-5866. While the Pearl Street office is open, the main Red Cross operations are now taking place at Ellensburg High School. If you know of people who need help, provide their information to the Red Cross and they will attempt to contact those in need.
In addition, the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center, through the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, is assisting those affected by the wildfire. People needing assistance can also call 925-2002.
Monday, Aug. 20
As a way to reinforce containment lines in the northwest corner of the Taylor Bridge wildfire, fire spokesman Matt Comisky says a planned controlled burn is now underway, which is producing considerable, sometimes heavy, smoke in the area. The fire in that vicinity has been moving down steep, rocky terrain toward previously established fire lines. In addition, a fire line has been established near Hidden Valley, while mop-up work continues today around the remainder of the fire perimeter. Six helicopters and 11 bulldozers are now aiding fire crews.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office has reduced the evacuation level in the Hidden Valley and Lambert Road areas from a Level 3 to Level 2, meaning residents can access their homes. However, roadblocks are in place on both ends of Lambert Road. The county is reported to be actively evaluating evacuation levels and will make further reductions as soon as it is safe to do so.
A community meeting for Sunlight Waters residents only is scheduled for tonight at 7:00 pm in the Sunlight Waters Clubhouse.
Monday, Aug. 20
Taylor Bridge wildfire officials are now estimating it will be tomorrow before they could have full containment on the blaze. Fire officials listed the 23,225-acre Taylor Bridge wildfire as 47 percent contained at last report.
Fire spokesman Mick Mueller says weather conditions yesterday did not allow burnout operations to take place along the northwest portion of the fire line. Mueller says, if the weather cooperates, the burnout is scheduled for 10 this morning on the backside of Lookout Mountain, above the Lookout and Hidden Valley road areas. If the burnout takes place, it will mean increased smoke in those areas.
The 1,052 firefighters on the blaze today are strengthening the northern flank of the fire. Mop-up work continues on the remainder of the fire, which has destroyed 48 homes and 15 other structures. Both State Route 97 and State Route 970 have been reopened to traffic.
And, the temporary restriction on the drinking water system for Sunlight Waters has been lifted. A community meeting for Sunlight Waters residents has been scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight in the Sunlight Waters Clubhouse. Leading the fire update will be Kirk Holmes, Taylor Bridge Fire commander, and Kittitas County Fire District No. 1 Fire Chief D.J. Evans. Again, that meeting is for Sunlight Waters residents only.
Cooler temperatures later this week should increase humidity, which will aid firefighting operations.
Monday, Aug. 20
As cleanup efforts begin in the areas impacted by the Taylor Bridge Fire, property owners need to be aware that burned debris cannot be accepted at the Kittitas County transfer stations until 15 days after the fire occurred on their property. Due to safety concerns at county facilities, the 15-day waiting period is necessary to assure that all burned material is completely extinguished. Material with live embers may cause risk for fire at the transfer station or landfill when combined with other waste.
Additionally, loading debris and transporting it before all fire potential is suppressed may cause personal and property risks. If burned material is moved too soon, transporting it introduces significant airflow which may lead to re-ignition. After the 15-day waiting period, debris from the Taylor Bridge Fire may be accepted at either the upper or lower county transfer stations.
If you have questions or need more information, call Kittitas County Solid Waste at 962-7542.
Monday, Aug. 20
Better weather conditions over the weekend helped firefighters gain ground on the Taylor Bridge wildfire and, if the weather cooperates, fire officials expect the blaze could be contained some time today. Fire officials listed the 23,225-acre Taylor Bridge wildfire as 47 percent contained at last report.
Fire spokesman Mick Mueller says that lightning strikes over the weekend happened to the east of the fire perimeter. However, weather conditions yesterday did not allow burnout operations to take place along the northwest portion of the fire line. Mueller says, if the weather cooperates, the burnouts could take place today, which will mean increased smoke in those areas.
The 1,052 firefighters now on the blaze are working to strength the northern flank of the fire between State Route 97 and the intersection of highways 970 and 10. Mop-up work continues on the remainder of the fire, which has destroyed 48 homes and 15 other structures.
Sunday, Aug. 19
Fire officials listed the 23,262-acre Taylor Bridge wildfire as 43 percent contained this morning. Estimates are that the fire, which has destroyed 48 homes and 15 other structures, could be fully contained by some time tomorrow.
Fire spokeswoman Jessica Payne says the focus of the 979 people fighting the fire today is to strength the northern flank of the fire between State Route 97 and the intersection of highways 970 and 10. Mop-up work continues on the remainder of the fire. Both State Route 97 and State Route 970 have been reopened to traffic.
When weather conditions permit, burnout operations may take place along the northwest portion of the fire line, which will mean increased smoke in those areas.
The temporary restriction on the drinking water system for Sunlight Waters area was lifted at last night.
A community meeting specifically for residents of the Emerick Road, Hidden Valley, Lauderdale, Lookout Mountain, Swauk Prairie, Teanaway, and Upper Bettas Road areas has been set for tonight at 7 in the Swauk Teanaway Grange (1361 Ballard Hill Road, Cle Elum). Officials from the Department of Natural Resources and the Kittitas County Sheriff's office will be on hand for the update. Again, this meeting is specifically for those living within the boundaries of Fire District 7.
Sunday, Aug. 19
The DNR said at about 1:00 p.m. today that the fire should be contained by Monday. Fire crews are focusing on strengthening the northern flank of the fire. That section lies between SR 97 and the intersection of SR 970 and SR 10.
Some of the nearly 1,000 firefighters are mopping up areas where the fire has already passed. Mop-up includes larger versions of what campers do when they leave a camp site and put out a fire. Firefighters may cool down areas with water, or moving soil. They also will move any residual fuel -- limbs, logs, etc.-- out of the potential path of fire,
Weather permitting and with appropriate conditions in place, burn-out operations may take place this afternoon along the NW portion of the fireline. Burn-out operations means burning fuel before the fire can get to it. That means it might get a little smokier in some areas before it gets better.
As of Saturday night, the fire was 43-percent contained. Today Kittitas County Department of Emergency Management is actively inspecting structures in the fire area. With 60 percent of the assessment completed, 48 residences and 15 out buildings have been lost.
Firefighters completed a containment line last night around a spot fire located northeast of Hidden Valley Road and west of SR 97. Five helicopters, two structure-protection strike teams, and aircraft with flame retardant assisted in containing the fire to about 100 acres.
The focus of fire crews today continues to be strengthening the northern flank of the fire between SR 97 and the intersection of SR 970 and SR 10, with special emphasis on yesterday's spot fire. Mop-up continues in the remainder of the fire footprint.
A Red Flag Warning continues today with very hot, dry and unstable conditions. With temperatures reaching 90 to 100 degrees, fire activity is expected to increase and significant threat to structures remains a concern. Part of SR 97 was reopened yesterday.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Fire officials say the Taylor Bridge wildfire has destroyed 48 homes and 15 other structures. The new figures were announced at community briefings yesterday at Cle Elum-Roslyn High School and Central Washington University. Previous estimates had been that up to 70 homes had been lost.
Ellensburg Community Television, channel 2 on Charter cable, and KCWU TV, channel 15, will rebroadcast the CWU community briefing tomorrow, Sunday, August 19, at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. The 23,113-acre fire was 40 percent contained yesterday. It's now estimated that the fire could be fully contained by some time on Monday.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Home and business owners who have incurred damages from the Taylor Bridge Wildfire are encouraged to file a report with the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) immediately. This data will be used in determining if damages are significant enough to warrant a request for federal disaster assistance and various other forms of assistance. There are forms available here.
For more information, call the EOC at 509-933-8305.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Fire officials say the Taylor Bridge wildfire has destroyed 48 homes and 15 other structures. The new figures were announced at community briefings yesterday at Cle Elum-Roslyn High School and Central Washington University. Previous estimates had been that up to 70 homes had been lost. The 23,113-acre fire was 40 percent contained yesterday. It's now estimated that the wildfire could be fully contained by some time on Monday. A total of 984 firefighters are on the fire lines today.
Fire spokesman Kelly Sprute says a 100-acre spot fire that broke out yesterday afternoon east of Hidden Valley has been contained. Five helicopters, along with a bulldozer, and fire crews were able to keep it from spreading. Sprute adds the northeast flank of the fire will again be an area of emphasis today.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the area today because of the threat of dry thunderstorms and lightning, which could hamper fire-fighting operations.
State Route 97 is now open, but State Route 10 remains closed.
Friday, Aug. 17
A spot fire, from the Taylor Bridge wildfire, flared up this afternoon north of Lauderdale Junction. Fire spokesman Mick Mueller says it's grown to about 10 acres in size and is now being battled with the help of air tankers and helicopters. A Level 2 evacuation notice has been issued for residences north of State Route 970, including Swauk Prairie, Ley Road, and Hartman Road, and north of State Route 97, including China Camp Lane, Shamrock Lane, and Forbes Lane.
After a brief opening earlier today, State Route 97 is again closed southbound at the Lauderdale Junction.
High heat and low humidity have been hindering firefighting efforts today. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for continued very hot, dry, and unstable conditions over the next two days. With temperatures reaching 90 to 100 degrees, fire activity is expected to increase and significant threat to structures remains a concern.
Friday, Aug. 17
Two more community briefings on the Taylor Bridge wildfire are being held tonight. The first is at 4 p.m. in the Cle Elum-Roslyn High School gym. The second, at 7 p.m., will be in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom at CWU.
The briefings will include updates from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, state Department of Natural Resource, and information about available resources to residents who have sustained fire losses. Free parking will again be available in university lots for those attending the CWU briefing.
A live video stream of the CWU briefing will also be available here at 7 p.m. In addition, Ellensburg Community Television, channel 2 on Charter cable, and KCWU TV, channel 15, will rebroadcast the briefing at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Sunday, August 19.
Friday, Aug. 17
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for continued very hot, dry, and unstable conditions over the next two days. With temperatures reaching 90 to 100 degrees, fire activity is expected to increase and significant threat to structures remains a concern.
A burn ban is currently in effect in Kittitas County for all burning, including recreational fires. Briquette barbeques are also prohibited in all areas of the county. For more information, contact the Kittitas County Fire Marshal at 509-962-7000. You may also find additional information here.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has implemented a statewide burn ban on all DNR protected lands which applies to all outdoor burning, including currently permitted burns. For more information, contact DNR at 1-800-562-6010 or check online here.
Members of the public should be aware that negligently causing a fire could result in liability to cover the total cost of the fire. To report a forest fire call 1-800-562-6010.
Friday, Aug. 17
CWU President James L. Gaudino today thanked those who have been helping with the recovery from the Taylor Bridge wildfire. You can read the president's letter here.
Friday, Aug. 17
Kittitas County Undersheriff Clayton Myers says that, as of 7 a.m., Sunlight Waters residents who had been evacuated because of the Taylor Bridge wildfire are being allowed to return to their homes. However, they cannot use the water system there. Myers says the Sherriff's Office will provide drinking water for those returning to their residences. He notes that the Kittitas County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Larson, will evaluate the Sunlight Waters' water system today, and the Sheriff's Office will have additional information later on the status of that system.
As of last night, about 20-thousand feet of hose has been laid in the Sunlight Waters area to aid in fire suppression and mop-up operations. Overall, fire crews have been making progress and the Taylor Bridge wildfire is now 33 percent contained, according to fire spokesman Mark Grassel.
Another round of community briefings are set for later today on the wildfire. They will be held at 4 p.m. in the Cle Elum-Roslyn High School Gym and at 7 p.m. in Central's Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom. The briefings will include updates from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, state Department of Natural Resource, and information about available resources to residents who have sustained fire losses. Free parking will again be available in university lots for those attending the briefing at Central.
It's also been announced that the Ellensburg Rodeo--Kitititas County Fair kickoff breakfast, tomorrow morning from 7 to 10 a.m. on North Pearl Street in Ellensburg, will be offered free to wildfire victims, firefighters, and other emergency responders.
Thursday, Aug, 16
At the bottom of this page we've updated the list of places accepting donations of clothing, food, and money. Following please see a news release issued by the Dept. of Natural Resources earlier this evening.
Thursday, August 16
FIRE INFORMATION WEBSITE: www.inciweb.org/incident/3152
PHONE: (509) 649-0039 or (509) 649-0047 (public)
(509) 260-1507 (media)
The Taylor Bridge Fire started on Monday, August 13, at approximately 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. The fire continues to burn in grassland, sage brush, and timber. The incident is under unified command with agencies from: WA DNR, Kittitas County Fire Districts 1 and 7, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, and the WA Incident Management Team 2. The fire perimeter extends approximately 40 miles and contains 36 square miles in land mass.
Earlier today, evacuation levels were reduced from a Level 3 Evacuation Notice to Level 2 allowing some residents to reenter the northeastern portion of the fire area and parts of the Sunlight Waters community. Approximately 20,000 feet of hose has been laid in the Sunlight Waters area to aid in fire suppression and mop-up operations.
In the Hidden Valley and Bettas area, firefighters continued work to secure containment lines. Many portions of the burn area have damaged trees. Falling crews worked to drop dangerous trees, reducing hazards to firefighters.
Burn out operations took place along SR10 between SR97 junction and Swauk Creek. Crews made progress creating a protective trail around isolated islands of unburned fuels to prevent further flare-ups.
Ground crews and air operations continued work along the Emerick Road, west of SR 97. Firefighting effort continue to be a challenge due to the steep and rocky terrain.
Mop-up crews patrolled and checked for hotspots west of Reecer Creek Road, and south of Lower Green Canyon. As mop-up continues, fire crews will extinguish burning material and fall snags. Preliminary mop-up distances will be 300 feet from the fire perimeter. Around structures 300 feet within the grasslands, and 500 feet around structures in forested areas. Mop-up standards will be dictated by fuel conditions and terrain.
Fire officials urge residents and the public reentering the fire area to use extreme caution. Utilities and power lines may have been damaged in the fire and the public should assume the power lines could be energized causing injury or death. If you return to your home and find you do not have electricity, please report the outage to the appropriate power company: Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 or Kittitas County Public Utilities #1 at (509) 933-7200.
***A second community meeting has been scheduled for the following dates and locations:
In Cle Elum at 4:00 PM Cle Elum/Roslyn High School Gymnasium
2692 SR 903
In Ellensburg at 7:00 PM Central Washington University Student Union
400 East University Way
For additional information on the fire situation and available resources to residents who have fire losses, we encourage the public to attend.
Six helicopters have been in the air today helping battle the north end of the Taylor Bridge wildfire, off Highway 10 and Highway 970. Bruce Livingston, from the Taylor Bridge Fire Information Center, says one troublesome area is in particularly steep terrain on the west side of Highway 97, from which there has been rolling debris.
Kittitas County Public Works Department crews along with personnel from Puget Sound Energy and Kittitas County Public Utility District No. 1 have been assessing the damage caused by the wildfire and working on utilities.
A second community briefing on the Taylor Bridge wildfire has been scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, August 17) at 7 p.m. in the CWU Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom.
The briefing will include updates from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, state Department of Natural Resource, and information from several human services agencies. Free parking will again be available in university lots for those attending the briefing.
Here is some of the information from last night's meeting. Click to hear radio reports or read the transcript below.
Kittitas County Undersheriff Clayton Myers says some residents, displaced by the Taylor Bridge wildfire, are being allowed to return to check on their homes this afternoon and, if habitable, move back in. The area involved includes homes along Highway 97 north to Spring Gulch and areas to the east, along with Ellensburg Ranches Road from Highway 97 to Highway 10, and areas to the south. It is important to note that this area is open to residents only.
All areas north of Spring Gulch to Lauderdale, west to Highway 10, and down to Highway 970 remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
In addition, Sunlight Waters residents who live on Sunlight Drive are being allowed to check on their homes but, at the present time, they will not be allowed to move back in. The Sunlight Water's Water District reports water systems there are currently not operational and no fresh water is available. Crews are now working to repair the system.
If you have questions, call 509-933-8305.
Last night’s Taylor Bridge wildfire community briefing in the CWU Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom will be rebroadcast today (Thursday, August 16) at 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Ellensburg Community Television, Channel 2 on Charter Cable, and KCWU TV, Channel 15.
More than 900 firefighters are on the fire lines today continuing the battle against the Taylor Bridge wildfire. Fire spokesman Mark Grassel says the overnight shift of fire crews had some success containing the flames, as the blaze is now 25-percent contained. Even so, 22,000 acres have been consumed by the wildfire. Grassel notes that, contrary to rumors, the fire has not jumped I-90. In addition, State Route 970 is now open to vehicle traffic.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in affect for homes in the vicinity of Lauderdale. Grassel says today’s priority is to battle the fire in that northwest section, in-and-around the Hidden Valley area.
Kittitas County Undersheriff Clayton Myers says sheriff’s deputies will be assessing areas on the perimeter of the fire that are no longer in immediate danger. He says they will attempt to allow people back to their homes at least for a short time, especially those with special circumstances, such as needing medication or wanting to check on their pets.
Because of the tremendous outpouring of support from Kittitas County residents, additional clothing donations are not necessary at this time for victims of the Taylor Bridge wildfire. However, monetary donations are still needed and are greatly appreciated. In Ellensburg, checks can be dropped off at the Red Cross office (312 North Pearl Street) or the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce (609 North Main Street). You may also donate online to the Red Cross through the CWU Foundation here. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce is accepting non-perishable food items and veterinary supplies for relief efforts.
Wednesday, Aug. 15
Between 600 and 700 people munched on delicious tri-tip sandwiches (courtesy of the Washington Beef Commissions, Kittitas County Cattlewomen, and Washington State Cattlemen's Assn.) and then attended a community meeting where state, fire district, and county officials shared information about the battle against the wildfire.
In attendance were regional Red Cross and Department of Natural Resources coordinators. Both said they are unable to accept donations, although the Red Cross can accept cash. For now, please hold off on your donations. Folks coordinating donation drop-off sites are talking tomorrow about how to coordinate efforts. We'll post info here when it's available.
The Red Cross said one of the most valuable donations you can make to someone victimized by fire is time and elbow grease. They'll need help moving, sorting, cleaning, and heaven knows what else. We'll look for a places to sign up to share your time and post it here.
Click here to view the agenda for the 7 p.m. public meeting at the CWU Student Union/Recreation Center.
Click here for the link to view the live video stream of the Ellensburg community briefing on the Taylor Bridge wildfire at CWU. The streaming video will begin at 7 p.m. from the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom.
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office has lifted the evacuation orders for the Alford Road, Look Road, and Wilson Creek Road areas.
For members of the news media planning to cover tonight’s Ellensburg community briefing on the Taylor Bridge wildfire at CWU, parking will be available in the university’s J-8 lot, which is adjacent to the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC).
Directions: take University Way eastbound to D Street. Turn left at the stoplight. Head north on D until you reach the four-way stop at 11th Avenue. Turn right and enter the parking lot. The SURC is the facility at the northeast end of the parking lot. The Ballroom is on the second floor.
From the CWU Facebook page:
"There's a call for supplies for firefighters -- the following items can be delivered to Sahaptin Outfitters on First Street in Cle Elum: water, Gatorade, oranges (sliced), apples, bananas, small candy bars, Jolly Rancher-style hard candies, fruit snacks in cups, paper towels, stuff for sandwiches (bread, butter, no mayo, mustard, lunch meat, plastic bags for sandwiches), ice chest with just ice and water to dip towels and paper towels to wipe off faces.
The Washington Cattlemen’s Association, in conjunction with the Kittitas County Cattlewomen and Washington Beef Commission, will provide free beef tri-tip sandwiches and bottled water to those attending tonight’s Ellensburg community briefing on the Taylor Bridge wildfire at CWU. The briefing will begin at 7 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Ballroom. The sandwiches will be served, beginning at 6:30 p.m., on the SURC east patio. Parking is free for those attending tonight’s meeting.
Time to go inside. The Dept. of Ecology air quality monitoring map shows Ellensburg air quality at "unhealthy." That means university student and guest activities will be conducted indoors.
This morning's DNR briefing estimates fire containment holding steady at about 10 percent. CWU has welcomed several more evacuees into residence halls and will provide housing for Red Cross volunteers expected to arrive today.
There's another briefing at noon, at which time we'll hope to provide more information and an up-to-date fire map.
Tuesday, Aug. 14
The Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) released an update this evening that says the Taylor Bridge Fire is about 10 percent contained. An earlier report is available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3152/15875/. It restates what is generally known about structures lost, acres burned, that DNR is supervising fire suppression, etc.
Cle Elum community meeting. In addition to the community meeting Ellensburg tomorrow evening, there will be a meeting in Cle Elum at 4:00 p.m. at the Cle Elum/Roslyn High School Gymnasium, 2692 SR 903. The Ellensburg meeting is at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom (second floor).
The state Department of Ecology says the air quality in the area is "unhealthy," a mid-range evaluation on a five-point scale from good to hazardous. See the air monitoring map at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.ltr.aspx. University administration today asked that student and guest activities (for camps and conferences) be conducted indoors.
A community briefing on the Taylor Bridge wildfire has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom at Central Washington University.
The briefing will include updates from Kittitas County Emergency Management and other officials. Free parking is available in university lots for those attending the meeting. A live video stream of the community briefing will be available and Ellensburg Community Television, Channel 2 on Charter Cable, will rebroadcast the briefing at noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 16.
Red Cross (925-5866) – accepting clothing and non-perishable food at:
· Ellensburg Holiday Inn Express 1620 Canyon Rd. 509-962-9400
· Cle Elum – Senior Center 719 E 3rd 509-674-7530
Cle Elum Eagles Club –accepting clothing at two locations:
· 118 E 1st Street
· 220 Pennsylvania Avenue
Cle Elum Hope Source – accepting non-perishable food and pet food at 110 N Pennsylvania Avenue, 509-925-1448
ARRF Animal Rescue – Accepting pet food and pet supply donations, carriers and livestock hauling call 509-304-4805. Monetary donations can be made online at http://www.arrfanimalrescue.org/
Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce (509-925-2002) – accepting financial and general donations, clothing and non-perishable food at: 609 N Main (corner of 7th and Main)
Washington Cattlemen’s Association – accepting financial donations, feed and fencing supplies at 1301 N. Dolarway, Ellensburg, 509-925-9877
Donations for animal care
- Cashmere Valley Banks – all locations
- Old Mill Country Store - 500 West 3rd Avenue
- Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce - 609 North Main Street
- Kittitas County Fairgrounds Event Center – 512 N. Poplar Street
Dept. of Natural Resources
Fire Status Reports http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3152/
News Media - 509-899-4293
Public Inquiries - 509-925-8510
Evacuation information and fire maps
--Last updated: Tuesday 14 @ 4:00 pm--