More structures destroyed in Monastery Complex Fire
UPDATED FIRE INFO: 64 structures have been destroyed in the Monastery Complex Fire that is burning near Satus Pass. It is still unclear if they were homes or outbuildings.
Up to 600 firefighters are battling the blaze. Six helicopters are now dropping water onto the fire. Crews spent much of Friday morning rescuing dozens of animals ranging from dogs to alpacas.
As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, lanes in both directions on Satus Pass, Highway 97 are closed due to smoke from the Monastery Complex Fire. The Department of Transportation may open and close the road throughout the day. Check this website: http://wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/satus/default.aspx before you drive over the pass.
So far about 5,300 acres have burned since Wednesday, but that's a rough estimate. Crews will use GPS to get a more accurate measurement today (Friday).
About 300 people have been evacuated and are staying at the Klickitat County fairgrounds, where the Red Cross has set up an evacuation center under the grandstands. There is a public meeting tonight at Goldendale High School at 7:00.
Chuck Turley of the Department of Natural Resources says firefighters had a good night Thursday. Winds were down and humidity was unexpectedly up which meant fire activity wasn't as high as it could have been.