Evacuation areas expand in Snag Canyon Fire

Evacuation areas expand in Snag Canyon Fire
KITTITAS COUNTY NEWS RELEASE -- The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office has updated evacuation levels for the Snag Canyon Fire, which was caused by lightning Saturday evening.

The Level 3 notice now encompasses the entire Sun East area, Robbins Road north of Smithson Road, east to Naneum Creek, north to the northern boundary of Township 20N Range 19E (T.20N R.19E), west to Forest Service Road 3500.

The expanded evacuation area will allow the Sheriff’s Office to clear out any campers or recreational visitors north of the current fire activity. This will also assist in clearing the limited road system for firefighting efforts.

Robbins Road is currently closed at Smithson Road to all traffic except fire personnel. The Forest Service is also closing Forest Service Road 3500 and the Lion Rock area north of the fire. These closures should not affect residents in the Liberty and Blewett Pass areas.

The areas between Wilson Creek Road and Naneum Road (north of Charlton Road) have been downgraded to a Level 2 evacuation notice. Residents will be allowed back into the area, but are encouraged to be on alert for fire activity and firefighting personnel and apparatus. Both Wilson Creek and Naneum Roads will remain closed to the public at Charlton Road, however, local traffic will be permitted to access the area.

There are approximately 179 homes in the Level 2 and 3 evacuation areas, with many of those secondary homes. The fire has been estimated at 1,830 acres.

The Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center has not been able to assess property damages at this time. There are reports of 8-12 structures lost, however, this is unconfirmed until official damage assessments can be made.

The Red Cross emergency shelter is open at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg. No evacuees are currently at the shelter. An emergency shelter for livestock and other animals has been set up at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds. Currently there are two horses, two ponies and three dogs housed at the Fairgrounds. One additional dog is being sheltered at Ellensburg Animal Hospital.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Operations Center is working in conjunction with fire management, Washington Incident Management Team #1, Washington Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue, and Kittitas County Fire Districts 1 and 7.

Residences affected by the fire can contact the EOC at 509-933-8305 for more information, or visit the county website for updates and evacuation maps at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us/. For fire information, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4046/, or contact the Snag Canyon Fire Information Office at 509-731-3641.