Damaging wildfire threatens homes near Ellensburg

ELLENSBURG — A lightning-sparked wildfire has burned about a dozen structures in Kittitas County and threatened dozens of homes about 10 miles north of Ellensburg, fire officials said Monday.

The Kittitas County sheriff’s office has issued an evacuation notice for about 80 homes in the area. Other residents have been told to be ready to leave, said Jill Beedle, a spokeswoman for the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center.

The Snag Canyon Fire that started late Saturday scorched nearly 3 square miles of grass, brush and timber as a weekend thunderstorm whipped up winds and flames, said Sarah Foster, a spokeswoman for fire managers.

“It’s active, it’s evolving. It’s definitely causing some problems,” she said, noting that the fire was not contained as of Monday morning.

But, with the help of light wind conditions, about 200 firefighters working the blaze have been able to hold the fire steady, Foster said.

It’s unknown if the structures that burned were full-time residences, summer cabins or outbuildings. There have been no reports of injuries.

The Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg, and some animals are being housed at an emergency shelter set up at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, Beedle said.

State officials have also closed the western half of Naneum Ridge State Forest to keep campers and hikers safe.

In north-central Washington, about 1,800 people were battling the state’s largest wildfire, which has destroyed about 470 structures since it started July 14.

The Carlton Complex of fires, which has scorched nearly 400 square miles, was mostly contained, fire spokesman Steve Till said Monday morning. Firefighters have built a line around a nearby fire that started Friday between Twisp and Winthrop and burned a handful of homes, though it’s not fully contained, Till said.

More in Local News

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Community boards are taking on school truancy

Support and follow-through, not punishment, seems to be more effective at keeping kids in school.

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Most Read