Snag Canyon Fire in Ellensburg Burns More Than 1800 Acres - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Snag Canyon Fire in Ellensburg Burns More Than 1800 Acres

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UPDATE / ELLENSBURG, WA - Firefighters are still working to contain a wildfire that has burned about a dozen homes north of Ellensburg.

Monday morning, firefighters said the Snag Canyon Fire is threatening another 180 homes, prompting evacuations in the Sun East area.

Firefighters say since lightning started the fire on Saturday, the flames have burned just under 3 square miles of grass, brush and some trees. There have been no reports of injuries.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg.


YAKIMA, Wa.- The fire that has been tearing through Snag Canyon in Ellensburg began Saturday evening, burning through an estimated 1800 acres and destroying six homes, but officials say this number will most likely grow. 

People who live in the area said they heard thunder rolling and then not seconds later lightening struck. 

"Loud thunder hit and it was so loud it was painful," Lisa Woods said of the terrifying experience, 

Fire crews from all over the region have been brought in to contain the wildfire. Multiple helicopters and planes dropping water and fire retardant are currently in the area. 

Officials say they at first had success with containing the fire, but it quickly grew out of control. 

"Yesterday we had some success and held the fire to 3 acres, then a thunder cell moved in over and very gusty winds picked up so it grew really quickly once it got into the dry fuel," Public Information Officer Sarah Foster told us. 

The dry grass, sage brush, and timber in the canyon all helped in fueling the fire. The area is now at a level three evacuation, the highest evacuation level in the state of Washington.

Evacuated home owners remain concerned, because many of their animals and live stock have been left behind and they are unable to return to get them. 

"We have remaining poultry and I know neighbors have goats and rams that need water so that's a real concern," Lisa Woods said. 

Officials say firefighter and home owner safety is their main priority right now, so the roads leading up to Snag Canyon remain closed, but they will be searching the structures that have been destroyed and checking the area for animals and livestock. Moving forward emergency and fire crews will begin to lay out a plan of containment, but at this time the fire is still spreading and the surrounding areas are on high alert.