Table Mountain Fire combines with other fires - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Table Mountain Fire combines with other fires

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Ellensburg, WASH.--The smoke coming from the Table Mountain Fire and the Wenatchee Complex are making it difficult to breathe all over Central Washington.

"We had some people come last night {to the Red Cross Shelter in Ellensburg} that came because of the smoke," said Myrna Antonich. "Their house was not at an evacuation level 3, but the smoke was so bad that they just needed to get down out of the hills."

Fire Information Officer Tim Perciful said, "We're expecting winds coming from the south so it should change the smokey condition a little bit, and hopefully maybe push it out a little bit up north."

Firefighters said the Table Mountain Fire is burning in a densely wooded area causing the thick flames and heavy smoke. It has grown to 30,000 acres and is only expected to get larger.

Firefighters said the merging of the Table Mountain Fire and Wenatchee Complex could happen any day. Therefore, more crews will be called in to help battle a fire that could potentially reach over 70,000 acres.

"We expect that to be combining with the Table Mountain Fire sometime soon," said Perciful. "It could be today, tomorrow or the next few days."

"We were told that this is a 100 year experience," said Antonich. "Where it's just one every 100 years, things like this happen."

The Kittitas County Fairgrounds are currently housing 26 fire evacuee animals. The head veterinarian at the fairgrounds, Mark Kinsel, said the Table Mountain Fire is not burning in an area with a lot of cattle, but that could all change if the winds shift.

"If the wind changes direction, there's some large pockets of animals we're concerned about that may be evacuated," said Kinsel. "We may get very busy, we just don't know."

There are currently over 700 firefighters battling the Table Mountain Fire. As of Friday afternoon, it is 5 percent contained. The American Red Cross has set up shelter at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg for all evacuees.

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