Yakima County under state of emergency for extreme fire conditions

Yakima County under state of emergency for extreme fire conditions »Play Video
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Fires continue to spring up all over our state, but mostly in Eastern Washington. The Mills Canyon Fire is still burning in Chelan County. It's grown to 22,000 acres.

It's a recent reminder for Rhonda Davis who lost a number of personal belongings in the Cottonwood 2 Fire.

"The first reaction was just horror, just sadness beyond belief. It hurt...because it was almost a lifetime worth of stuff," said Rhonda Davis.

The fire in Selah spared Davis's home but destroyed other items. It burned nearly 9,000 acres. To set up the help we'd need in case another fire like that flares up, the Emergency Declaration was announced for 20 counties, including Yakima, Kittitas, Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.

"I think it is a good thing that it's included because it opens the doors for better resourcing and better operations if we get into a big fire," said Jim Hall, Yakima Valley Emergency Management Director.

A state of emergency allows counties access to the national and state guard resources.

Yakima Valley Emergency Management Director Jim Hall says Yakima County did not request the declaration. But sees why it was included.

"We've had large fires before we'll probably have large fires in the future. It's just being prepared, being aware," said Hall.

Firefighters tell us they're not doing anything different, outside of remaining on high alert. Rhonda is happy to hear the extra help is a phone call away.

"Get the initial people out there first then the backup comes in, everybody digs in and takes care of it that's wonderful. Instead of oh dear it got away from us," said Rhonda Davis.

So that no one will go through what she did when the Cottonwood 2 Fire damaged her home.

Yakima County has not been included in a State of Emergency for Fire conditions since 2012. A red flag warning has been issued for Yakima County.