Cow Canyon Fire at 90% containment, crews begin to clear out

FINAL UPDATE: The Vantage Highway & Cow Canyon wildfires are almost completely contained


UPDATE at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 5: Structures to the north of the Cow Canyon Fire are being prepared in case the blaze moves in their direction while ground crews establish fire lines to contain the wildfire throughout the day on Friday.

Now under the command of Northwest Incident Team 12, the Cow Canyon Fire has drawn approx. 300 personnel to this point including six hand crews, six engines, six water tenders, five dozers and a helicopter. Extra support from air tankers dropped retardant on Thursday to prevent the fire from spreading east of Manastash Ridge. Other crews on the ground were  in charge of securing the perimeter of the blaze on the fire’s northwest side.

Smoke remains visible in the surrounding region and might impact air quality in parts of Yakima and Kittitas counties. Risk assessments are underway in the Manastash Canyon, and while there hasn’t been an evacuation issued for this area, road closures are meant to keep people out.

Most of the evacuations levels and closures remain the same but are as follows.

LEVEL 3 (GO NOW!): All buildings south and west of the Umptanum Rd/Shushuskin Rd intersection including Overlook Rd, Coyote Run, Long Tom Canyon Rd, Umptanum Rd, Durr Rd and Wenas Rd.

LEVEL 2 (GET SET TO GO): All buildings and roads south of Manastash Rd and west of Umptanum Rd including Mellergaard Rd, Strande Rd, Blazing Sky Ln, Victory Ln, Cove Rd, Aspen Dr, Cove Ln, Orrion Rd, Mitchell Rd and Manastash Canyon.

ROAD CLOSURES: Manastash Rd at Cove Rd and Umptanum Rd at Shushuskin Rd (Local traffic is still allowed).

RECREATION CLOSURES: Manastash Trail (Manastash Book), Umptanum Falls and Wenas Wildlife Area.

You can find a map of the evacuation areas here.

As of this update, the size of the afflicted land has not been updated and remains at 5,600 acres. Despite ongoing efforts from hard-working firefighters, the blaze has not reached any level of containment since it began on Wednesday.

Commissioner Hillary Franz of the DNR plans to visit the Cow Creek Fire on Saturday, Aug. 6 to deliver an update, inspect the fireline and meet with those fending off this wildfire.

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UPDATE at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 4: The Cow Canyon Fire has been upgraded to 5,600 acres, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Most recent containment reports suggest the blaze is less than 10% contained at this stage of the process.


UPDATE at 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 4: Level 3 (GO NOW!) evacuations have been upgraded for the Cow Canyon Fire, which is burning more than 1,500 acres of natural land near the border of Yakima and Kittitas Counties.

Level 3 Evacuations are in effect for all homes south and west of the Umptanum Rd/Shushuskin Rd intersection. This area includes Overlook Rd, Coyote Run, Long Tom Canyon Rd, Umptanum Rd (south and west of Durr Rd intersection), Durr Rd and Wenas Rd. The range encompasses a mile-and-a-half radius from N Wenas Rd to Malloy Rd in northern Yakima County.

Level 2 Evacuation warnings, which mean you must prepare yourself to evacuate, have been issued for all structures and roads south of Manastash Rd and West of Umptanum Rd. This area includes Mellergaard Rd, Strande Rd, Blazing Sky Ln, Victory Ln, Cove Rd, Aspen Dr, Cove Ln, Orrion Rd, Mitchell Rd and Manastash Canyon.

Roughly 100 fire personnel have been deployed to contain the spread of this blaze, according to the DNR. The Lazy F Camp has been evacuated due to Level 2 warnings in order to keep everyone safe and maintain a clear path for firefighting efforts.

The following roads are closed: Manastash Rd (west of Cove Rd), Umptanum Rd at Shushuskin Ridge Rd and Manastash Trail.

LIVE UPDATE: Vantage Highway Fire grows across tens of thousands of acres in Kittitas County


UPDATE at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 3: The Cow Canyon Fire is burning across at least 200 acres of land in Wenas, a community near the border of Yakima and Kittitas counties, according to fire and emergency responders from across the region.

DNR officials say Level 3 (GO NOW!) evacuations are in effect for Autobahn Rd and Maloy Rd. Yakima County Emergency Management (OEM) says immediate evacuations are also in effect for N Wenas Rd.

Smoke is clearly visible from parts of Kittitas County, where local authorities ask that community members refrain from calling about this blaze. Kittcom says first responders have been sent to the area.


ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Level 3 evacuations have been issued for anyone near Autobahn Rd and Maloy Rd; roughly 12 miles southwest of Ellensburg for the Cow Canyon Wildfire which ignited on Wednesday afternoon.

According to an emergency alert from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Cow Canyon Fire is impacting approx. 200 acres in Yakima County. They say a Type 3 Interagency Management Team has been issued as aerial and ground resources have been called to help contain the fire.

A live feed tracking this fire is available on the Alert Wildfire website (click here).

Crews are still battling the Vantage Highway Fire, which has burnt upward of 26,500 acres near Vantage, Wash. in recent days. Click here for the latest updates on that fire.

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