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Wildfire season ramps up

This photo of the Klamathon Wildfire was posted by Inciweb on July 9.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST – At least four large wildfires are burning in the region. Here is a summary based on information from Inciweb, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, and the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office.

Klamathon

The cause of this wildfire burning in northern California near the Oregon border is unknown. It began on July 5 and has consumed 36,500 acres of grass, brush and timber. At last report the blaze was 45 percent contained. Full containment is expected by July 15.

One person has been killed and three firefighters have been injured due to the fire and 82 structures have been destroyed. Shelters for people, large animals and small animals are operating in the area. A total of 2,798 people are fighting the fire.

Evacuation notices extend into southern Oregon and the fire has forced the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail and roads in the affected area.

Ryegrass Coulee

The town of Vantage, Washington has been lowered to a level 2 (get set) evacuation notice, allowing residents to return to their homes. The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to keep a close eye on the situation and still be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

Interstate 90 and Vantage Highway have been reopened. Huntzinger Road is closed south of I-90. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

A Type 3 incident management team is taking over fire command. The blaze has burned an estimated 1,000 acres and is not at all contained. Only one small structure has been lost.

Solitude

The Solitude Fire, which started Sunday, is threatening a ranch complex near Spray in Central Oregon. It has burned an estimated 700 acres and was 10 percent contained at last report.

The ranch includes a home as well as barns and outbuildings. The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber. The cause is under investigation.

A crew of 151 firefighters are battling the blaze with full containment not expected until July 20. The terrain is described as a rugged canyon.

Little Camas

This fire in Central Washington near Cashmere has burned more than 315 acres and was more than 50 percent contained at last report. It started last Thursday and is threatening three homes and Camas Meadows Bible Camp. Those areas are under a Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation notice.

There are 416 people fighting the fire which is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Firefighting aircraft are using water from the camp’s pond. Everyone is asked to avoid that area. Forest roads in the immediate area have been closed to public access. The public is asked to use extra caution and watch for fire equipment when traveling around Cashmere and Highway 97.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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