(Cle Elum, WA) 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.
Community meetings have 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 Recreation Room
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.