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Taylor Bridge Fire 90% contained

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Taylor Bridge Fire 90% contained

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August 21, 2012

(Cle Elum, WA) Residents should contact the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center 509-933-8305, to verify whether their home falls under the reduced emergency level or www.co.kittitas.wa.us to view a current map.  In the Teanaway/Swauk Prairie areas, Road Closure Signs are located 1.5 miles east of Taylor Road on Lambert Road and near the intersection of Hidden Valley Road and Lambert Road.  Everything before the Road Closure Signs are at a Level 2 (Residents Only) and areas past the Road Closure Signs remain at Level 3.  The southern half of Hidden Valley Road, including Emerick and Hart Road, and Bettas Road remain at Level 3.  Burke and Ranch Road are at a Level 2 (Residents Only).  The Thorp/Sunlight Water areas Levels remain the same.  SR970 and SR97 also remain open.

Emergency levels are as follows:

Level 1:           This is an initial notification in person to inform the residents of the situation, and the process which may follow.

Level 2:           At this point we request people consider leaving the area, or be ready to leave at a moment’s notice due to the high possibility of the fire reaching the area.  Access back into the area may be limited at this point.

Level 3:           The fire is in the area, people are to leave immediately.  Access to the area is restricted.

A successful burnout was completed Monday with limited spotting.  Fire crews continued to provide structure protection making good progress reinforcing the fire perimeter along the entire northern edge of the fire.

Today the bottom of the drainage near Hidden Valley is the final segment of fire line to be completed.  Fire crews are still concentrating their efforts along that segment of the fire.  Nine crews along with various  equipment are assigned to work in that area.  The remainder of the fire perimeter is in patrol status.  Handheld Thermal Detection Devises continue to be utilized to detect hot spots.

Expected weather for today is for cooler temperatures with a high of 76 degrees, NW winds 10-15 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, and a relative humidity of 35 percent.  A cooler weather trend is expected to persist over the next several days.

Mop-up standards are dictated by fuel type and terrain. Crews conducting mop-up operations are working to ensure that fuels are removed from around structures and there are no hot spots inside of the fire edge.

Representatives from the American Red Cross and Comprehensive Medical Health will continue to assess the situation and provide support to residents in the areas of evacuation. For more information, please contact the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center at 509-933-8305, or www.co.kittitas.wa.us

Two emergency shelters continue to be open for displaced residents:  Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center, 719 E. Third Street in Cle Elum, (509) 674-7530, and Central Washington University – Munson Dorms, 400 E. University Way, (509) 963-1141, in Ellensburg, Washington. Livestock and small animals have also been evacuated to the Kittitas County Fairground in Ellensburg, Washington.

Public and firefighter safety is the top priority on the Taylor Bridge fire. The public is urged to stay clear from the road closure area and to minimize traffic on roads accessed by fire crews.  Fire danger remains high across Washington State.  The USFS has a campfire ban outside of wilderness areas in effect. Check www.fs.usda.gov/okawen for further information. Be sure to check with your fire agencies for local fire restrictions.

The Incident Management Team would like to express their thanks to the public for their continued support and co-operation during this very stressful incident

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