Montecito Fire is 80-90% contained, level 2 evacuations lifted - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Montecito Fire is 80-90% contained, level 2 evacuations lifted

Posted: Updated:
People are being asked to avoid SR 22 since it is closed at Richards and Wine Country Road. People are being asked to avoid SR 22 since it is closed at Richards and Wine Country Road.

UPDATE 3:29 a.m.:

PROSSER, WA - Level 2 "Get Set" evacuations have been lifted. The fire is now 80-90% contained.

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UPDATE 2:48 a.m.:

PROSSER, WA - The State Fire Marshal's Office has authorized state resources to help with the Montecito fire.

"State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Montecito Fire, located approximately near Prosser in Benton County.  The Montecito Fire is burning in grass and brush.  Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on June 28, 2018, at 12:00 a.m. at the request of Acting Fire Chief Todd Dormaier, West Benton Fire and Rescue.

The Montecito Fire started on June 27, 2018, at approximately 7:30 p.m.  This fire is estimated at 2,500 acres, and is threatening homes, crops, and infrastructure in the area.  Level 2 evacuation orders are in effect at this time.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered 3 strike teams of fire engines. The fire will be managed by the Southeast Washington Interagency Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray is activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Montecito Fire.  State Fire Marshal’s Office personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources," according to a press release.

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UPDATE 12:13 a.m.:

PROSSER, WA - "SR 22 both directions at milepost 32 near the City of Prosser the road is now open. SR 22 was previously closed due to a fire near the roadway with heavy smoke," according to Washington State Department of Transportation.

The Red Cross shelter at Housel Middle School is expected to open at 12:30 a.m. According to a press release, "Evacuating residents are encouraged to bring the following for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought, along with other items for family members who may have other needs."

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PROSSER, WA - The Montecito Fire burning near SR 22 is at 40% containment as of early Thursday morning.

NBC Right Now has learned the fire is between 1,500 and 2,000 acres at this point. Officials are hoping to confirm that number during daylight hours. Level 2 "Get Set" evacuations are in place for the Painted Hills area. The Red Cross has a shelter open at Housel Middle School for those leaving their homes. 

There are still resources battling the blaze from the upper and lower parts of the fire. Firefighters from Kennewick, Pasco, Yakima County and Benton County are at the scene. A strike team from Walla Walla is making their way to the fire and state mobilization has been requested. 

Firefighters tell NBC Right Now at the beginning of this fire, they chased the flames for about an hour with some close calls to homes. Gusty winds have helped push this fire over the hill. Teams are hoping lower temperatures overnight will help sustain containment lines.

There is no word on what caused this fire. Crews are hoping to have it 100% contained by early Thursday evening.

People are being asked to avoid SR 22 since it is closed at Richards and Wine Country Road. 
 

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