Fires started by lightning cause level 2 evacuations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fires started by lightning cause level 2 evacuations

Posted: Updated:

CLE ELUM, WA- The lightening storm that passed through Kittitas County Friday evening started two fires on U.S. Forest Service lands near Blewett Pass.

Approximately 25 acres are burning to the east of Forest Road 9714 and 5-10 acres are burning to the west of Forest Road 9714. Level 2 evacuations are underway for homes 0.5 miles north of the fire. 

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office continues to work closely with a mobilized Type 3 Incident Management Team that has now been set up at the Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg for the Iron East and Iron West wild land fires. 

The management team will begin using around 170 firefighters for the operation. There are currently several structures in Chelan County that could potentially be threatened depending on the movement of the fire.

Hand crews are establishing a fire line around each fire, with dozers and engines assisting on the less steep eastern portion of the fire. Two engines, one from Ellensburg and one from Leavenworth, are attacking the eastern fire.

The Washington Department of Transportation will close Highway 97 for one week to install culverts. Hikers and recreationalists in the vicinity of the fire have been cleared out by forest staff.

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