2 injured while containing fire east of Kittitas; long power outage expected

Kittitas Fire 627
Image courtesy of Upper Kittitas County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 5180

11 PM UPDATE:

Kittitas PUD No. 1 reported an updated count of 17 burned power poles and said it may take until 10 pm Monday to fix them and restore power to customers.

The utility provided these photos of the damage:

 


8 PM UPDATE:

Kittitas PUD No. 1 reported on Sunday night that 14 power poles burned to the ground in the fire. The poles will have to be repaired.

The downed transmission line is a mile long and serves customers connected to the Parke Substation. More crews have been sent out to fix the line and restore power.

“Residents and businesses can expect at least a 24 hour outage,” the utility reported. “We will continue to update Facebook as restoration estimates improve. Be safe everyone and help your neighbors.”


6 PM UPDATE:

Fire crews are mopping up in 106-degree temperatures.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office says the fire started in the area of Stardust Lane at the top of Clerf Hill.

”One residence was lost in the 2900 block of Clerf Rd along with several outbuildings along Stingley Rd north of Clerf. There were no known injuries to residents,” the sheriff posted to Facebook.

KCSO said two firefighters were injured and taken to Kittitas Valley Healthcare hospital for treatment.

Dozens of people who evacuated are said to be returning to their homes.

That said, the sheriff’s office adds that the danger is not over:

“Both days of this weekend were marked by wildfires that endangered lives and property, and the heat wave is just getting started. PLEASE exercise extraordinary caution in the days ahead!”


5 PM UPDATE:

The Kittitas Police Department reported Sunday evening on Facebook that “the fire is contained and roads have re-opened.”

The main problem now is a widespread power outage in triple-digit heat. The fire has further complicated restoration efforts.

Kittitas PUD No. 1 had this outgoing phone message Sunday evening for customers in Kittitas and surrounding areas:

“Line workers are working in the extreme heat to make repairs and fight fire near and around the transmission lines to Parke Substation. The station is still out of power and may be for a while. Restoration time is not currently available. Please make arrangements for a long outage.”

The police department says “Kittitas Elementary School is open as an emergency shelter with power, air conditioning, water and other resources provided by the Red Cross.”

“Check on your neighbors, we are Kittitas Strong.”

This is the third straight Sunday that many residents in Kittitas have not had power.

No officials word yet on the cause of the fire or outage(s).


PREVIOUS STORY:

KITTITAS, Wash. — Fire and law enforcement officials have issued an evacuation for some residents of Kittitas County due to a large wildfire east of the city of Kittitas.

According to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, fire departments are fighting a fire between Parke Creek Road, Caribou Road and Clerf Road. Dozens of people who live there have been told to evacuate.

As of 2:47 PM, the city of Kittitas was not believed to be threatened, a news release from the county stated.

Some structures were threatened. KAPP-KVEW is working to confirm how many buildings have been lost and which areas were saved by firefighters and/or spared by the flames.

Power outages are happening in the area. According to the Kittitas Police Department, Kittitas School District is opening the elementary school in Kittitas as a shelter for any residents without power in the area.

Officials are asking residents to avoid calling 9-1-1, unless you are in immediate need of assistance. All Kittitas Police Department officers were dispatched to assist.

The union representing firefighters in Kittitas County District 7 described the wildfire as a 4th alarm fire, adding that it is the second mutual-aid fire to which District 7 has been dispatched within the past two days.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.