7/27/2014

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Satus Pass fire: Roads disappear into a blanket of grey

Satus Pass fire: Roads disappear into a blanket of grey
SATUS PASS, Wash. -- The Satus Pass fire continues to grow as nearly 5,000 acres have burned. Firefighters say there's a potential for the fire to grow even larger Friday night.

Heavy smoke lingers in the air. As the road disappears into a blanket of grey. Over 800 firefighters have traveled across the country to battle the uncontrolled blaze.

Callie Bailey a nearby local told KIMA, "I'm nervous because my brothers are also working with my dad and it's really nerve-wracking."

Callie Bailey's grandmother's ranch sits near the fire. She can see the thick smoke from their property. Firefighters told us that thick smoke is the biggest challenge.

(((Keith Maybee)))
"Especially with the smoke, you cannot see flames at all, you know. You just kinda got to guess where the fire is at this point", said Keith Maybee, the supervising manager at the Department of Transportation.

Many people have evacuated their homes. The Department of Transportation told KIMA that they will push to evacuate more homes if the fire continues to grow.

Dozens have left -- but with an unpredictable fire -- no one's certain what's next.

"They would have to be ready to go at any time" said Keith Maybee.

Callie is fortunate her family has not yet been asked to evacuate.

Callie told us she's, "terrified on what I would come back to find there. It's kind of scary."

Emergency response teams have officially entered attack mode -- and call the fire's behavior "extreme." Right now the focus is on controlling the flames near Highway 97 -- which is where the Mile Marker 28 Fire earned its name.

Highway-97 is completely closed between Goldendale and Toppenish. The state expects it to be that way at least another day.

Fire crews are on site around the clock right now.

A Red Cross shelter was set up in Goldendale for those who were forced out of their homes.
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