The Goldendale Sentinel -

 
 

Mile Marker 28 fire (Satus Pass) latest updates

 

This is the most recent fire map (released July 31).

Aug. 5, 9:02 a.m.

Incident Command has issued what it calls the last of the Mile Marker 28 Fire updates:

Total acreage at this hour is 26,092. Containment is 91 percent. There are 615 people fighting the fire.

FIRE SITUATION: Mop-up operations are virtually complete this morning. Last night crews concentrated on the northwest corner of the fire to extend the secure area to the 200 foot standard. Hand-held heat sensing equipment was used again last night to locate hot spots along the line that are not visible to the naked eye.

There was some isolated activity within the interior of the fire yesterday afternoon, but it was scattered and presented no threat of escape. This is likely to continue for some time. A warmer and dryer air mass is setting up over the fire area and is expected to increase activity in the short term. Despite that trend, fire officials are confident containment lines are sufficient to prevent new escapes.

Today, a transition from Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 to a smaller fire management organization led by Matt Eberlein (Washington Department of Natural Resources) and Ryan Sanchey (Yakama Nation Fire Management) will begin, with both teams working side-by-side. Tomorrow, the smaller organization will assume command of operations and Team 2 will demobilize and leave. Approximately 170 personnel will be assigned to the incident to hold and patrol the existing fire perimeter.

With the departure of Team 2, the fire information telephone numbers used during the incident will cease operation. Those desiring information may call the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 773-4455, Klickitat County Dispatch Center at (509) 773-4545, or 4547 or Yakama Nation Dispatch at (509) 863-6653.

Although much of the fire danger has passed, many areas of concern to the public remain. Fire officials recommend anyone driving through US Highway 97 only stop if you are experiencing an emergency situation. Rolling debris, dangerous and unstable trees, and underground burning stumps continue to create hazards for anyone in the burn area. US Highway 97 is now open and due to safety concerns, the speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph. For additional information call the WSDOT closure hotline: (509) 577-1617.

Regard for human safety and management of risks guides all fire management decisions and actions on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Incident Commander Nathan Rabe and the members of the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 appreciate the support provided by the communities of Goldendale and Bickleton during fire suppression efforts on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Only minor injuries related to the heat have occurred at this time.

A Burn Ban is in effect on all Department of Natural Resources administered lands. No campfires are permitted on state protected lands, even in developed campgrounds: http://www.dnr.wa.gov. Most wildfires are caused by people. Fire officials urge the public to be cautious during the summer season and help us prevent wildfires.

EVACUATIONS: (Information from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office). All emergency notices remain the same at Level 1.

RESOURCES: 12 Crews, 1 Helicopters, 44 Engines, 4 Dozers, 8 Water Tenders, 178 personnel, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 615 .

Aug. 4, 12:05 p.m.

Fire management information land lines to be shut off Monday

The latest fire update has the total acreage now remaining at 27,102. Containment is now at 87 percent. There are 797 personnel fighting the fire.

FIRE SITUATION: Mop-up operations continued yesterday, extinguishing and removing burning material 150 to 200 feet from the fire perimeter. Nearly all 41 miles of the fire line have now been covered by fire crews. In addition, handheld infrared thermovision equipment is being utilized by crews to identify “hot spots” within the 200 foot buffer of the fire perimeter. Night time patrolling of the fire perimeter will continue tonight.

Fire activity is expected to be minimal due to the combined abundance of mop-up along containment lines and the relatively high humidity levels. Nevertheless, the continued burning of heavy fuels within the fire perimeter will be noticeable, but the risk of spread will remain relatively low. Fire officials have indicated that smoke will likely be visible throughout the burn area for many weeks to come. Air quality and smoke information for Washington State can be found at http://wasmoke.blogspot.com.

Fire lines no longer being utilized, as well as roads used by fire personnel, are being identified by resource advisors and fire operations. The rehabilitation of these areas is designed to protect human life and safety, and reduce flood severity, soil erosion and prevent the establishment of non-native plants.

There are now 797 personnel assigned to the fire. Several are being demobilized today and the personnel remaining, including the management team, will be demobilized over the next several days. The plan is to transition to a smaller, Type 3 fire organization on Monday morning. That smaller force will consist of two Co-Incident commanders, two Division Supervisors, four Task Force Leaders, four crews, four Strike Team of engines and other overhead personnel, whose assignment will be to hold and patrol the existing fire perimeter. The fire information phone lines that have been used during the height of fire management will be disconnected tomorrow.

Although much of the fire danger has passed, many areas of concern to the public remain. Fire officials recommend anyone driving through US Highway 97 only stop if you are experiencing an emergency situation. Rolling debris, dangerous and unstable trees, and underground burning stumps continue to create hazards for anyone in the burn area. US Highway 97 is now open and due to safety concerns, the speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph. For additional information call the WSDOT closure hotline: (509) 577-1617.

Regard for human safety and management of risks guides all fire management decisions and actions on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Only minor injuries related to the heat have occurred at this time. The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 would like to thank the public for their support during the fire situation.

A Burn Ban is in effect on all Department of Natural Resources administered lands. No campfires are permitted on state protected lands, even in developed campgrounds: http://www.dnr.wa.gov . Most wildfires are caused by people. Fire officials urge the public to be cautious during the summer season and help us prevent wildfires.

EVACUATIONS: (Information from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office). All emergency notices remain the same at Level 1. The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office urges the public to be cautious and aware of emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, supporting vehicles and personnel which will remain in the area.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter located at Fathers House Fellowship has been closed. For information, call the National Red Cross at (888) 610-1455.

RESOURCES: 17 Crews, 2 Helicopters, 58 Engines, 5 Dozers, 13 Water Tenders, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 797.

Aug. 3, 9:37 a.m.

The latest fire update has the total acreage now at 27,102, down slightly from yesterday. Containment is now at 82 percent. There are 1,064 personnel fighting the fire.

FIRE SITUATION: Yesterday, fire crews spent the day continuing mop-up operations, extinguishing and removing burning material 150-200 feet from the fire perimeter. Some burnout took place on the furthest northwest edge of the fire. Firefighters also focused on the west side outside the fire boundary where a small fire occurred from a lightning strike. A fireline was completed around the 10x10 foot area, cooling down and extinguishing any possible fire. Some islands of unburned fuel remain within the fire perimeter and fire officials have indicated that smoke will likely continue to be present over the summer months.

Fire behavior is expected to be moderate today. Approximately 20 acres are scheduled for burnout on the northwest corner of the fire. Smoke may be visible to the public. Crews will also be working on infrared sweeps using handheld devices while walking the perimeter of the fire identifying hot spots and directing mop-up crews to extinguish those areas. Resource advisors continue to work extensively with fire operations personnel as the mosaic pattern that burned through much of the Mile Marker 28 Fire is being evaluated in preparation for rehabilitation efforts. Rehabilitation of the burn area is designed to protect human life and safety, and reduce flood severity, soil erosion and prevent the establishment of non-native plants.

Although much of the fire danger has passed, many areas of concern to the public remain. Fire officials recommend anyone driving through US Highway 97 only stop if you are experiencing an emergency situation. Some members of the public have been observed walking through the recent burn area and many hidden dangers remain. Rolling debris, dangerous and unstable trees, and underground burning stumps continue to create hazards for anyone in the burn area.

US Highway 97 is now open and due to safety concerns, the speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph. Motorists are cautioned to drive carefully as fire suppression vehicles continue to work on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. For additional information call the WSDOT closure hotline: (509) 577-1617.

Regard for human safety and management of risks guides all fire management decisions and actions on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Only minor injuries related to the heat have occurred at this time. The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 would like to thank the public for their support during the fire situation.

A Burn Ban is in effect on all Department of Natural Resources administered lands. No campfires are permitted on state protected lands, even in developed campgrounds: http://www.dnr.wa.gov . Most wildfires are caused by people. Fire officials urge the public to be cautious during the summer season and help us prevent wildfires.

EVACUATIONS: (Information from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office). Level 2 (Precautionary) emergency notices on the east end of the county have been reduced to a Level 1 (Advisory). All other areas remain at Level 1. The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office urges the public to be cautious and aware of emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, supporting vehicles and personnel which will remain in the area.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter located at Fathers House Fellowship has been closed. For information please call the National Red Cross at (888) 610-1455.

RESOURCES: 26 Crews, 4 Helicopters, 70 Engines, 5 Dozers, 23 Water Tenders, 218 Overhead, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 1,064.

Aug. 2, 11:40 a.m.

The latest fire update has the total acreage now at 27,104. Containment is at 75 percent. Total personnel fighting the fire is 1,272.

FIRE SITUATION: Firefighters completed another successful day improving control lines on the Mile Marker 28 fire perimeter. Burnout operations were conducted along the northeastern boundary and fire crews are making considerable progress on mop-up standards, mopping up 200 feet from the perimeter.

The priority for today will be on the west end of the perimeter, north of the Satus Creek drainage, and mop-up operations. Firefighters using handheld infrared devices will be walking the perimeter of the fire identifying hot spots and directing mop-up crews to extinguish those areas. Several areas of unburned fuel will continue to be consumed and fire officials have indicated that smoke will likely be present from the interior of the fire throughout the summer.

During the afternoon hours yesterday while crews diligently worked throughout the fire, a thunder cell moved over the area dropping heavy rain and hail, and there were some lightning strikes. For safety purposes, firefighters retreated to their engines or other suppression vehicles until the hazardous conditions moved through the area. Approximately one inch of precipitation was recorded from the RAW Station (Remote Automated Weather Station); however, not all areas of the fire received rainfall. A lightning strike outside the northeast boundary was reported, and fire crews were detailed to evaluate the area of ignition and extinguished any possible fire.

The regard for human safety and management of risks guide all fire management decisions and actions on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Only minor injuries related to the heat have occurred at this time. The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 would like to thank the public for their support during the fire situation.

A Burn Ban is in effect on all Department of Natural Resources administered lands. No campfires are permitted on state protected lands, even in developed campgrounds: http://www.dnr.wa.gov . Most wildfires are caused by people. Fire official urge the public to be cautious during the summer season and help us prevent wildfires.

***US Highway 97 has been opened for traffic as of 10:00 PM last night (Note – pilot car guiding traffic has been removed). Due to safety concerns, the speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph. Motorist are cautioned to drive carefully as fire suppression vehicles continue to work. For additional information call the US Highway 97 closure hotline: (509) 577-1617.

EVACUATIONS: (Information from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office). Level 2 (Precautionary) emergency notices on the east end of the county have been reduced to a Level 1 (Advisory). All other areas remain at Level 1. The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office urges the public to be cautious and aware of emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, supporting vehicles and personnel which will remain in the area.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter located at Fathers House Fellowship has been closed. For information, call the National Red Cross at (888) 610-1455.

RESOURCES: 33 Crews, 4 Helicopters, 75 Engines, 7 Dozers, 23 Water Tenders, 234 Overhead, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 1,272.

Aug. 2, 11:35 a.m.

EVACUATION LEVELS UPDATE: The Klickitat County Sheriff''s Office has announced the Level 2 evacuation zone in the east end of the county is being downgraded to a Level 1. This area includes Township 6N, Range 19E, Sections 17-20 & 29-30.

All other areas remain at a Level 1.

Aug. 2, 7:28 a.m.

US 97 open both directions from milepost 13.0 to milepost 61.4

US 97 is now open both directions between Toppenish and Goldendale. Expect reduced speed limit to 40 mph from the Yakima/Klickitat county line to Satus Pass. For more information: (509) 577-1617. Two lightning strikes last night sparked one fire within the zone, quickly contained, and another suspected fire about 6 miles west of the perimeter. Containment is 75% and all but a stubborn area to the west on Satus Creek has black line. Projected 100% containment is Aug. 6. Up to 1inch of rain fell on the area last night.

Aug. 1, 9:03 a.m.

Latest update on the Mile Marker 28 fire from Incident Command: 26,793 Acres, 65 percent contained, 1,291 personel. There is one small area on the west side of the fire that doesn't have containment lines in, rest is in mop-up mode with islands within the interior that haven't burned yet. The fire is moving with in the containment lines with flames and smoke visible. There is a weather Red Flag Warning in effect, but fire officials say there probably is no significant lightning threat for this immediate area.

July 31, 12:53 p.m.

US 97 now open, using pilot car

WSDOT has announced that US Highway 97 opened at noon today. Drivers should expect delays of up to one hour while a pilot car guides traffic through a seven-mile stretch of the highway from the Yakima/Klickitat county line to Satus Pass.

The speed limit will also be reduced to 40 mph along 13 miles of US Highway 97 between the Yakima/Klickitat county line and Allen Creek Road.

For additional information call the US Highway 97 closure hotline: (509) 577-1617.

July 31, 12:41 p.m.

Fire acreage at this hour is 26,074. Containment is 60 percent. Personnel on the fire is 1,345.

FIRE SITUATION: Operational priorities for yesterday on the Mile Maker 28 Fire included working on the east and northeast edge of the fire. Overnight, firefighters were able to complete burnout operations along the east perimeter and will now begin mop-up operations. Fire officials continue to work extensively with the local resource advisers minimizing the impacts of the fire and suppression activities.

Crews will spend another day working on the southern perimeter completing mop-up operations. Firefighters continue to experience difficulty in completing line construction along the western boundary within the Satus Creek drainage. The challenging topography and erratic winds increased fire activity making it difficult for firefighters to construct line. Fire activity will increase in the afternoon hours. Several interior areas of unburned fuel will continue to smolder and cause isolated torching, and short-range spotting. Although a Red Flag Warning has been issued for this area, the best chance of thunderstorms will occur this afternoon. Challenges on the Mile Marker 28 Fire include warm weather conditions, potential for dehydration, increased traffic on many roads, and the steep, rugged terrain. Firefighter and public safety is the priority on the fire. Only minor injuries related to the heat have occurred on the Mile Marker 28 Fire.

***A Burn Ban is in effect on all Department of Natural Resources administered lands. No campfires are permitted on state protected lands, even in developed campgrounds: http://www.dnr.wa.gov .

EVACUATIONS: (Information from the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office). As of noon today, the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office is reducing a Level 2 (Precautionary) emergency notice to a Level 1 (Advisory) notice from Satus Pass south to Box Canyon Road. All other levels remain unchanged.

*** The Cleveland/Bickleton area Evacuation Levels set on July 28, remain unchanged.

The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office urges the public to be cautious and aware of emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, supporting vehicles and personnel which will remain in the area.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter located at Fathers House Fellowship has now been closed. For information, call the National Red Cross at (888) 610-1455.

CLOSURES: US Highway 97 opening is anticipated for later today. Go to WSDOT website for additional information: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov .

RESOURCES: 35 Crews, 7 Helicopters, 102 Engines, 16 Dozers, 21 Water Tenders, 216 Overhead, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 1,345

July 30, 4:30 p.m.

A release from the Washington Incident Management Team 2 at this hour reports the fire still at 22,469 acres and 40 percent contained.

The fire continues to burn in grasslands, shrub brush, timber, and timber litter. Yesterday morning, Incident Commander Nathan Rabe updated the Yakama Nation Tribal Council on the current fire situation. Approximately 14 tribal members attended.

FIRE SITUATION: Fire crews continue to make progress on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Firefighters worked along Division N, the northeastern boundary, preparing for burnout, an operation conducted by setting fire inside a control line to consume unburned fuels between the fire and the perimeter. Crews along the southern border focused on mop-up efforts, extinguishing and removing burning material near the control lines. An evening flight with infrared heat detection devices was used again to map the fire perimeter and identify areas with hot spots.

Today, firefighters were working on the east and northeast perimeter where hot spots occurred overnight. A retardant batch plant has been set up to facilitate the heavy lift helicopters with retardant drops. Helicopters will also be dropping water on the most critical areas of the fire where portions of the interior continue to smolder and burn isolated areas of fuel.

Containment lines have been completed on the southern perimeter of the fire and crews are focusing on mop-up operations throughout the day. The structure protection group has completed fuels reduction around structures. Evacuation levels in that area have been reduced by the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office, and State Mobilization resources will return to their home units.

CLOSURES: Due to the fire situation, US Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed. Highway 97 is open to local traffic only from Mile Marker 13 to 24. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes on State Route 14, State Route 221, and Interstate 82. For questions contact the WSDOT Highway 24-Hour Hotline (509) 577-1617.

July 30, 9:25 a.m.

Randy Sheppard from the fire command center called and provided this update:

The fire is currently at 22,469 acres and is 40 percent contained. That containment level is up 15 percent from yesterday. There are 1,345 fire suppression personnel still in Goldendale.

"The north and south flanks are looking pretty good," Sheppard said. "Our focus now is on securing the east." Once the perimeter is contained, Sheppard said, the task will move to interior suppression, putting out remaining hot spots.

Sheppard said the fire was still about 10 miles from Bickleton, pointing out that reports from a Portland TV station of it being two miles from the town were erroneous.

US 97 remains closed "and will certainly remain closed at least through Wednesday," Sheppard said. The Red Cross shelter has been closed, with few evacuees to require their attention. State mobilization teams are moving out today.

Remaining are two hotshot crews, 30 type 2 crews, one large helicopter, five medium helicopters, and one light helicopter.

July 29, 1:56 p.m.

EVAUCATION LEVELS UPDATE: The Klickitat Sheriffs office has announced that effective noon today all areas within the following areas are being downgraded from a Level 3 zone to Level 2 zone:

All areas north of Box Canyon up to the fire line, including the areas contained within Township 5N, Range 17E, Sections 1-16 and Township 5N, Range 18E, Section 18.

All the following areas are being downgraded from a Level 2 to a Level 1:

All areas east of US-97 and south of Box Canyon Road and within the following sections: Township 5N, Range 17E, Sections 13-16 & 20-30.

The Cleveland/Bickleton area Evacuation Levels set on July 28th remains unchanged.

Hwy 97 will remain closed until further notice. Non-emergency vehicles traffic north of Satus Pass is prohibited. Local traffic may utilized Hwy 97 to access their homes.

July 29, 10:26 a.m.

Here is the most recent information (received at 10:03 a.m. today) on the fire:

Total acres at present - 20,337. Containment - 25 percent. Personnel involved - 1,201.

FIRE SITUATION: Firefighters continued to make good progress throughout the day yesterday and overnight on the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Firefighters concentrated on the south and southwest perimeter building and strengthening fire lines. Preparations for possible burnout operations took place along the northwest perimeter down to US Highway 97. Crews began mop-up operations on the southern boundary removing fuels within 50 feet of the fireline to reduce the potential for the fire to spread. Today firefighters will concentrate on constructing fireline along the northeast and eastern perimeter of the fire identifying advantageous locations and existing roads to start constructing the fireline. Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts throughout the perimeter dropping water and retardant on the hottest portions of the fire. Approximately 10 miles of fireline remains to be built. Evening flights with heat detection devices were used over the last two nights for fire detection, mapping, and identification of hotspots.

The structure protection group continues to work the highest evacuation areas cleaning leaf litter, pine needles, and other debris from around the structures. Firefighters also monitored and patrolled the area for hotspots.

EVACUATIONS: Even with the minimal fire growth, a small area west of Bickleton was upgraded from a Level 1 (Advisory) to a Level 2 (Precautionary) emergency notice. The following areas were affected:

LEVEL 2 (Precautionary) The residences west of Bickleton north of Box Springs Road (E-1000 Rd.) within Township 6N, Range 19E, Sections 17-20 & 29-30. Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents in these areas to prepare to evacuate if their areas are upgraded to a Level 3. All other evacuation notifications remain the same, but will be assessed as fire conditions change. Call the information center at 773-7136 for evacuation details

COMMUNITY MEETING: Last night’s community meeting at the grange in Bickleton was well attended by more than 150 people from Bickleton and the surrounding area. Those in attendance were updated on the latest evacuation levels and current fire situation by the Incident Commander and incident team experts, along with representatives of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office, Fire District 2, Yakama Nation, American Red Cross and Department of Natural Resources.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter is at Fathers House Fellowship in Goldendale at 207 South Klickitat Avenue. You can call for information on the shelter at: (503) 849-0858.

CLOSURES: Due to the ongoing fire situation, US Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed. Maintenance crews with WSDOT continue to remove large danger trees that have burned from the fire, clearing rolling debris from the highway, and repairing portions of burned guardrail. Fire officials and WSDOT continue to evaluate the situation. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes on State Route 14, State Route 221, and Interstate 82.

RESOURCES: 28 Crews, 7 Helicopters, 102 Engines, 16 Dozers, 16 Water Tenders, 188 Overhead, 4 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 1,201

July 28, 3:48 p.m.

There have been upgrades in evacuation levels, specifically from LEVEL 1 to LEVEL 2. These areas are:

The residences north of Box Springs Road within Township 6N, Range 19E, Sections 17-20 & 29-30.

The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office is encouraging residents in these areas to prepare to evacuate if their areas are upgraded to a Level 3. This is the time to pack valuables, family heirlooms, clothing, and make necessary preparations for animals and to seek out viable lodging arrangements.

July 28, 2:41 p.m.

Washington Incident Management Team 2 reported in a release at about noon today that the fire is at 17,171 acres and 15 percent contained.

The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office has this reminder: "Some residents in the Level 3 evacuation zones are finding color-coded cards posted on their property and are wondering what these signify. The cards are placed by firefighting personnel to triage the property to identify the necessary fire fighting resources that may be necessary to suppress the fire should it reach that point. Please do not remove these cards."

July 28, 12:15 p.m.

Here is the latest update:

FIRE SITUATION: A combination of more accurate mapping and yesterday’s continued fire activity nearly doubled the size estimate. The majority of the fire perimeter growth and heavy smoke production occurred on the east flank as it burned through logging slash. Other areas of the fire experienced only minor growth. Conditions last night allowed firefighters to make excellent progress securing the west flank. A moderating trend in the weather with slightly lower temperatures and higher relative humidity began on Saturday and is expected to continue into Monday.

Today, firefighters will continue to reinforce and extend containment lines eastward along the north and south flanks. While still faced with challenging conditions, fire managers will take advantage of the moderate cooling trend in the weather. The additional fire resources assigned to the incident under the state mobilization declaration are continuing to evaluate and prepare structures in the Box Canyon area by conducting fuels reduction around structures should the fire advance.

A capacity crowd of approximately 150 people attended last night’s community meeting at the Klickitat PUD building in Goldendale. Fire managers and agency representatives provided fire information, evacuation updates and road closures. The meeting concluded with presenters answering questions in break-out groups. A second meeting is planned for today at the Grange Hall located at 4 East Market in Bickleton at 7 p.m.

EVACUATIONS: Yesterday, the evacuation areas were updated due to the increased afternoon fire activity. No changes occurred overnight. Call the information center at 773-7136 for evacuation details.

SHELTER: The Red Cross Shelter is at Fathers House Fellowship in Goldendale at 207 South Klickitat Avenue. You can call for information on the shelter at: (503) 849-0858.

CLOSURES: Due to the ongoing fire situation, US Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed. Maintenance crews with WSDOT continue to remove large danger trees that have burned from the fire, clearing rolling debris onto the highway, and repairing portions of burned guardrail and . Fire officials and WSDOT continue to evaluate the situation. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes on State Route 14, State Route 221, and Interstate 82.

RESOURCES: 28 Crews, 5 Helicopters, 92 Engines, 16 Dozers, 9 Water Tenders, 130 Overhead, 3 Camp Crew = Total Personnel 1,112

July 28, 9:35 a.m.

Reports are that the String Street RD fire was put out at 6 p.m. Saturday (July 27).

Goldendale police were dispatched to several locations in the city last night responding to calls of fireworks and firecrackers being set off in various parts of the city.

At this hour there are no updates from Incident Command on the Mile Marker 28 fire.

July 27, 9:38 p.m.

At a community meeting tonight at the Klickitat PUD,officials from the fire suppression management team addressed concerns and gave further insight into the spread of the fire. About 130 people were at the meeting.

Dryness, of course, is a major factor in this fire's aggressiveness, the team stated. Yesterday "ignition probability" for burning airborne debris (cinders and such) was very high, at 80 percent. That means that out of 10 airborne pieces of materiel, eight of those that land on anything but bare rock or dirt will ignite new fire. ( A small spot fire started at Pineywoods Road, several miles from the main fire.)

Other significant factors were terrain, steep canyon sides, intricate drainage and valley networks. These pose entrapment danger for fire crews.

John Fox, the Incident Meteorologist, said conditions were set to improve starting tomorrow, with lower winds, lower temperatures, and higher humidity.

Nathan Rabe, Incident Commander, stressed that safety for his men was first priority, and second was keeping the fire within the smallest footprint possible. Here are some figures he shared:

70 percent of fire is still on Yakama Tribal lands; the rest is on private and state-owned property.

Right now there are around 870 fire workers total, and the number may plateau around 1,000. 17 separate crews are working together. About 40 fire engines and 12 bulldozers were in action as of today. One twin-rotor large chopper was dropping water, two smaller Huey-type helicopter were hauling buckets, and there was one spotter aircraft. No fixed-wing support has been granted as of yet, but the incident commander says he likes helicopters better because they have much higher accuracy rates than airplanes. As of tonight, fire is burning on around 9,000 acres.

The commander also said today was the first day with a full contingent of forces fighting, and that made what he felt to be good progress. He expects tomorrow to be much better. He said that today during mid-day winds, crews pulled back for safety and focused on preparing structures within the expected path to be able to withstand the burn (debris clearing, grass mowing, and similar preparations).

A representative from the Sheriff's office talked about evacuations and said they were taking a much more "conservative and cautious approach' this time as opposed to during the Monastery Complex Fire, citing the surprising speed with which that 2011 fire traveled. He urged those within Evacuation Zone 2 to make preparations with due haste and those in Zone 3 to honor officials' wishes and vacate for their own good.

Julie Miller of the Red Cross went over what services are available to evacuees, including food, lodging, healthcare (mental as well as physical), and a service to notify worried people unable to reach evacuated family members.

July 27, 4:21 p.m.

A new fire has started near the Maryhill Grade. WSDOT has announced that US 97 southbound is closed at Milepost 6.5 near Old Maryhill Loop Road beginning at 3:30 p.m. because of the fire.

No new announcements have come in the past two hours from Mile Marker 28 fire control.

July 27, 1:56 p.m.

There is new information on evacuation levels at this hour: Due to spontaneous fire spotting ahead of the main fire line and the continuing southward movement of the fire, the following areas are being upgraded to LEVEL 3 (Immediate Evacuation):

All residences east of US-97 in Township 5N, Range 17E, Sections 25-30. These areas include Piney Woods Road, Thompson Trail, Toad Road, Indian Basin, Indian Hill Trail, England Drive, Shajewabe Road, Pinto Pony Road, Camplin Road, Black Label Lane, and Buckskin Road.

All residences located in Township 5N, Range 18E, Sections 29 & 30. These areas include Ekone Road, Harbison Road, Old Mountain Road (north of Old Cabin Rd) the north side of Ownby Road.

All residences west of US-97 within Township 5N, Range 17E, Sections 4, 8, 17-20, & 30. These areas include Dry Creek Road, Jenkins Creek Road, Christie Road, Home Place Lane, Lane Drive.

There are also upgrades to LEVEL 2 (potential evacuation) notifications as follows: All residences north of Bickleton Highway in the areas of Township 4N, Range 17E, Sections 1-12, 17-18. These areas include Piluk Lane, Cahill Road, Log Cabin Road, Chisholm Road, Oak Springs Road, Brengo Lane, Badger Gulch, New Hope Farms Road, Palmer Lane, Pumphouse Road, Bluff Road, and Rocky Ridge Road.

All residences north of Bickleton Hwy in Township 4N, Range 18E, Sections 5-8. These areas include Homestead Road, Hayfield Road, Holter Road, Big Springs Road, and Wheatland Road.

Residents in these areas are encouraged by the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office to make proper preparations for evacuation. This includes, but is not limited to, moving animals to alternate locations, packing valuables and moving them to a safe location, and making alternate housing arrangements should this zone be upgraded to a Level 3.

The Washington Incident Management Team 2 reports the following resources engaged in fighting the fire: 23 crews, five helicopters, 67 engines, 12 dozers, nine water tenders, 125 overhead, three camp crews, for a total of 869 personnel.

July 27, 10:05 a.m.

Reports continue to vary on the size of the fire, with local estimates around 5,000 and at least one Portland TV station reporting 9,000 acres. According to one report from fire command, the fire had been spreading at the rate of 100 feet per minute.

Information this morning is that the fire is continuing to move southerly eat of Highway 97 and somewhat easterly as well.

There are no reports of new evacuation notices.

A community meeting is scheduled in Bickleton Sunday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the Grange Hall.

The public is reminded as well of the community meeting planned for tonight, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Klickitat PUD Meeting Room located at 1313 Columbus in Goldendale. Fire officials and other agency representatives will update the public on the current fire situation and evacuation notices.

July 27, 8:42 a.m.

More fire mobilization has been authorized for the Mile Marker 28 Fire.

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on July 26, at the request of Klickitat County Rural 7.

According to a press release on the authorization released by Washington State Patrol at 8:30 a.m. July 27, the fire has grown to an estimated 5,000 acres. There are approximately 69 residences threatened by the fire with evacuations in place.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered five wildland task forces, a mix of 3/6 engines and one type 2 tender to supplement the resources already fighting the fire.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray has been activated to Phase II, to coordinate state assistance for the Mile Marker 28 Fire. Personnel from the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be on scene to coordinate dispatch of resources and other personnel will staff the State EOC.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.

More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at: http://wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobeplan/emobplan.htm.

July 26, 10:47 pm

A community meeting is planned for Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Klickitat PUD Meeting Room located at 1313 Columbus in Goldendale, Washington. Fire officials and other agency representatives will update the public on the current fire situation and evacuation notices.

Officials tonight announced that erratic winds drove the fire toward the east and southeast, forcing evacuations of an additional 150 structures, bringing the total to approximately 180. Fire crews were forced to disengage from strengthening the line along the southern perimeter due to extreme fire activity. Suppression tactics will take place during the night when winds subside and fire behavior can be more easily seen. Additional fire resources throughout the Pacific Northwest continue to arrive on the Mile Marker 28 Fire.

Fire officials continue to report the fire acreage at 4,646, with 3 percent containment and 869 firefighters on the scene.

July 26, 5:10 pm

In a correction to its earlier press release, the EPA issued a new one at 4:59 p.m. today revising the acreage of the fire from 5,500 acres to 4,600 acres.

July 26, 4:29 pm

Latest evacuation level update: The residences located in the following areas are being upgraded to a LEVEL 2 (Potential Evacuation) area: the residences north of Woodland Road within Township 5N, Range 17E, Sections 25-29 & 32-35. There is no change presently in the evacuation levels for Bickleton and Cleveland.

In related developments, a press release issued by the EPA at 4:15 p.m. today states the fire is at 5,500 acres. (They also issued a burn ban for the Yakama Reservation.)

July 26, 3:30 pm

Evacuation update: With the inclusion of the newest LEVEL 3 updates, the new LEVEL 3 zone extends from the fire line south to T5, R17E, S20-24. The only areas where the west side of US-97 is affected is from Satus Pass to the southern entrance of Satus Loop Road (approximately milepost 24).

Earlier this afternoon, fire management teams advised that the following areas were being upgraded to a LEVEL 3 Evacuation Zone (immediate evacuation): all residences east of US-97 and south of Box Canyon Road to the southern boundary of Township 5, Range 17E, Sections 20-24.

July 26, 12:45 pm

The 4,646 acres of the fire are based on aerial survey at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Smoke, particularly on the east end makes it difficult to update that perimeter. Crews report shifting winds in the area they are working due to topography and steep hills allow quick movement of fire. They are expecting to be active on all sides of the fire soon, but they have set their anchor point in the southwest edge and are actively establishing lines along the south and west. An assessment crew is on the ground in the east end. BPA shut down main power lines that run near SR97 due to ground faults due to carbon in the burn under the lines. Cell towers still operational. No prediction on possible pilot car as the fire continues to burn on both sides of the highway. There are 17 crews on the fire and 30 engines with 10 more on the way. Two bulldozers are working and more are on the way. There is no change in evacuation zones. The Bickleton highway is open, but should only be used for local transportation. Others are advised to take highway 14, east to highway 221 which runs from Paterson to Prosser. A community information meeting is being planned for Saturday at a location along Box Canyon Road and another will be held in Bickleton. Details are not yet available.

July 26, 9:45 a.m.

The fire expanded yesterday afternoon between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m ., mostly toward the east and some to the south. The estimate is 4600 acres affected. Fire retardant drops have been made along the south line where extra effort is focused to contain the fire from moving into areas where there are residences. The attack is expected to be ramped up again tonight when the weather is typically at its calmest. Topography creates a dangerous situation for firefighters due to shifting wind directions. Limited visibility hampered helicopter attack. The fire is still about 14 miles west of Bickleton and is 3% contained.Damage to guardrails on SR97 pose travel hazard and highway is still not open.

July 25, 6:30 p.m.

No decision made on opening Highway 97 to pilot car guided traffic. Fire still burning on both sides of the highway. Individual who reported the fire says it was down a ravine off the east side of Highway 97, below the highway. 911 call was made between 10:30 and 11 am. Fire is mostly on Yakama Nation land, also on DNR land. Some work will be done tonight with a more robust attack expected Friday night. Next media update is expected around 11 a.m. on Friday. Anyone who needs face masks is welcome to go to KVH hospital where they provide at no charge.

July 25, 1:40 p.m.

Klickitat County Commissioners declared a state of emergency at 11:54 a.m. allowing access to more state resources and the ability to secure areas. Command was officially transferred to the state Incident Command by the Yakama Nation and DNR at noon.

DOT is looking into the feasibility of opening a pilot car guided lane through SR97 perhaps still today, but the fire still burns on both sides of the highway creating some concerns by authorities.

July 25, 11:40 a.m.

In what is now being called by one agency the Shinando Creek fire, various fire control organizations held a briefing at the Goldendale High School Thursday morning.

The high school is serving as a Incident Command location, with agencies working on coordination of work and support.

Officials said the fire presently is under the jurisdiction of the Yakama Nation and DNR, though a transition to State Incident Command will soon happen.

Information presented at the meeting indicates the fire, which has closed US 97 near Satus Pass, is moving mostly easterly and a little to the south as well. Presently it is burning on about 1,600 acres. Some 105 firefighters are at the site, with more on the way.

Officials indicated they are keeping a close watch on Bickleton as the fire moves more toward the town. Weather conditions today, some suggest, will largely determine how and the degree to which the fire spreads.

In Bickleton, meanwhile, reports from residents there are that heavy traffic continues to clog the town. "The semis are doing the speed limit," one resident said Thursday morning. "It's the cars that are speeding, trying to pass the semis."

Tri-Cities media is advising traffic that Highway 97 is closed, allowing westbound traffic to divert to I-82.

July 25, 10:30 a.m.

Washington State Patrol and the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office have been dispatched to Bickleton to help the tiny town deal with a massive traffic crunch.

Traffic is building up along alternate routes near US 97 in the wake of the closure of the highway between Toppenish and Goldendale, a result of the Satus Pass fire.

Traffic in Bickleton has been frozen as dozens of vehicles, including semis, have tried to thread their way through the town.

July 25, 8 a.m.

At about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night in response to the Satus Pass fire, members of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department with the aid of Klickitat County Search and Rescue issued notices of evacuations as follows:

Level 3 (immediate evacuation) - From Satus Pass to Brooks Park.

Level 2 (Potential evacuation) - From Brooks Park to Box Canyon Road.

Level 1 (Advisory) - From Box Canyon Rd. to Woodland Road.

The American Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at

Our Father’s House Fellowship, 207 South Klickitat Street, in Goldendale.

Anyone with questions concerning the Red Cross can call Janet Holen at (509) 637-5504.

July 24, 5 p.m.

Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management Services (KCEMS) received a call this afternoon to assist Yakama Nation firefighters in suppressing a wildfire on Satus Pass near milepost 29 on Highway 97. Firefighters from Washington State Department of Natural Resources and volunteers from Klickitat County Rural 7 Fire District responded to assist in the suppression efforts.

As of this time the fires has consumed approximately 1,500 acres burning primarily on tribal lands. Because of the hazardous conditions, Highway 97 was closed to vehicular traffic and will remain closed until further notice.

As a caution, Klickitat County Search and Rescue personnel are notifying residents in the area of the hazards and alerting them to possible evacuations if conditions worsen.

A type two fire team is expected to take over control of the fire- fighting efforts tomorrow, July 25. Additional information will be provided at that time.

There is no information at this time about the cause of the fire.

July 24, 4:30 p.m.

A forest fire on US 97 near the top of Satus Pass within the Yakama Indian Reservation has jumped the highway, according to a report from the Washington State Department of Transporation (WSDOT). There is no indication presently which way the fire jumped. US 97 is now closed between Goldendale and Toppenish. Flames and smoke are causing hazardous driving conditions.

Klickitat County Emergency Management Director Ed Powell said at about 4:15 p.m. that Klickitat County firefighters had not been asked onto the reservation to assist as of that time, though Rural 7 crews were preparing to aid if called.

WSDOT says drivers should use alternate routes and expect delays.

 

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