(Cle Elum, WA) Initially, the Table Mountain fires were part of the Yakima Complex. As of 6:00 a.m. on September 17, the Yakima Complex was divided forming the Table Mountain Complex managed by the Type 2 WA Incident Management Team 2. Several fires are burning in the complex with the priority on the First Creek fire at 306 acres, the Lion’s Rock fire at 4562 acres, the Diamond Head fire at 581 acres, and the County Line fire at 584 acres. More than 25 fires are burning within the total complex in steep, rocky terrain where access to the fire has been difficult.
Yesterday, firefighters worked to complete hand and dozer line around the First Creek fire. The First Creek fire is located 4 miles southeast of the town of Liberty where Level 2 & 3 evacuation notifications remain in place. Multiple historic cabins and mines are located in the area. The structure protection crews have now completed assessments and fuels reduction around the structures. Over the next two days, fire crews will begin preparation for burnout operations.
Level 3 – Williams Creek Rd., Harkness Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. east of Red Top Rd., Cougar Gulch Rd. Boulder Creek Rd., and the Liberty Mountain Association community
Level 2 – Liberty Rd. from US97 to Boulder Creek Rd. (the end of the county road), this includes the town of Liberty and any driveways connected to Liberty Rd. up Boulder Creek Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. west of Red Top Rd. including Red Top Rd., Lauderdale junction north of Mineral Springs on the eastside of US97 – only residents directly connected to US97, Upper Green Canyon Rd., the top of Naneum drainage, Wilson Creek, and the Sun East housing development at the top of Robbins Rd.
For additional information on the evacuation levels log onto the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center website at: www.co.kittitas.wa.us. You can then go to the Kittitas County response page and click on Interactive Maps.
A Red Cross Shelter is located at the Centennial Center – 719 E. 3rd, in Cle Elum. Red Cross representatives will have updated information on the fire situation.
The Lion’s Rock fires continue to back off Table Mountain in several directions resulting in spotted burns through heavy surface fuels and making upslope torching runs with short range spotting. Several of the Lion’s Rock fires have grown together on the west end with a small portion of the fire just outside the planned containment lines. Crews continue working to build line toward the east along the southern boundary of the Lion’s Rock fires. Operations personnel are working closely with local resource advisors.
The County Line fire is located in very steep and roughed terrain, with limited access. At this time, the County Line fire is unstaffed, but fire officials continue to monitor the fire.
Air operations have been limited due to the smoke inversion and lack of visibility. Operations personnel for the team will continue to assess and prioritize the fires with public and firefighter safety as the highest priority.
Over the next 24-48 hours weather temperatures are expected to be above normal with no precipitation. Fire danger remains high across Washington State. Be sure to check with your fire agencies for local fire restrictions, forest and state closures.
Due to the many fires burning throughout Central and Eastern Washington, heavy smoke continues to fill the valleys and drainages. Fires producing potentially harmful smoke can be of concern to elderly, young children, and anyone with respiratory health conditions. The public is urged to limit outdoor activities and to take precautions by staying indoors until smoke conditions improve. For more information on air quality: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/local.html.
Road Closures: USFS and DNR roads – Reecer Creek Rd. at the Snowpack, Wilson Creek Rd. at the end of the county road, Coleman Canyon Rd., Schnebly Canyon Rd., and Cook Canyon Rd. Additional roads include – Liberty Rd., Williams Creek Rd., Harkness Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. east of Red Top Rd., Cougar Gulch Rd., Boulder Creek Rd., Upper Green Canyon Rd., Sun East Rd. at the top of Robbins Rd., and Elk Springs Rd.
The Washington Incident Management Team 2 appreciates your support and patience while firefighters work to manage the Table Mountain Complex. No injuries have been reported on this fire.