South Cle Elum Ridge Fire Update
Smoke from the South Cle Elum Ridge Fire is visible from Interstate 90 and the Cle Elum vicinity. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, August 8th, the fire is estimated to be 400 acres. Approximately 50 personnel are currently assigned to the fire, with more resources arriving today. Air tankers have lined much of the fire with retardant, and helicopters are working to keep hotter areas of the fire in check. The top priority is to keep the fire south of South Cle Elum Ridge. At this time no structures are directly threatened. As a precaution, the Kittitas County Sherriff’s Department has issued a Level 1 Evacuation for 15 homes on the Woods and Steele Road. Residents there should be aware of the fire situation in the area. Detailed evacuation information for all fires in the county is available through the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center, at 509-933-8305.
There are Forest Service road closures in place on Forest Road 4510 (Woods and Steele Road), junction of Forest Roads 3352 and 119 (Five Corners) and Forest Road 3300 at the Bridge across the South Fork Taneum Creek.
The fire was called in from an aerial observer around 5 p.m. on August 7, 2014. The fire is located approximately 6 miles southwest of the town of South Cle Elum, approximately one mile southeast of Hicks Butte.
In the first few hours the fire grew over 100 acres. Helicopters and air tankers supported the firefighters in trying to slow fire growth all through the evening on Thursday.
Additional resources from around the state, including a Type 2 Incident Management Team, are arriving to support the initial attack resources. An Incident Command Post is being set up just west of Thorp at the Heart K Ranch.
Fire managers are continuously monitoring the weather and fire behavior. A warming and drying trend is expected Saturday through Monday. Fire behavior has been active well into the night. Forest managers remind recreationists and other forest visitors that fire danger remains high and there are still campfire restrictions in place throughout the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.