Taylor Bridge wildfire getting closer to containment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Taylor Bridge wildfire getting closer to containment

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NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash.-- Crews battling the Taylor Bridge wildfire near Cle Elum are getting closer to having it fully contained.

While crews continue to mop up the burn area and put out hot spots, incident commanders are preparing to head out.

Day12 wildfire and crews are still working to get it under control.

At last count, they say it's 91% contained and has charred over 23,000 acres.

As incident commanders become more confident with their fire lines, they will continue to send more firefighters home. In fact, by this weekend they anticipate only 200 crews will remain inside the fire lines.

"That group will continue on for the next several days, continuing to mop up and do fire line related rehabilitation," said Incident Commander Rex Reed.

Reed and the rest of the Incident Management Team Two will be handing over the reigns Saturday morning to another crew. Their job is the same, continue strengthening the perimeter and getting the area mopped up.

"Particularly around homes that were saved. We want to make sure we have a good 100ft. perimeter around  there, fully mopped up. And also a 300ft. perimeter around all the fire," said Reed.

100% containment doesn't mean the fire won't still be burning though. Reed says you'll still see smoke and even some flames inside the fire area for a while.

"We are looking at a full control date actually when there's a little bit of snow on the ground," said Reed.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted for everyone living inside the fire zone.

The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says the area is still off limits, as crews continue to fight flare ups, and others start the long process of rebuilding.

"The only people allowed in there right now are home and property owners, people working on infrastructure or fighting the fire and people doing inspections," said Under-Sheriff Clay Meyers.

"I started my career in 1974 and of the fires I've worked throughout the country, this is definitely, fire behavior wise, in the top 10," said Reed.

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