The Snag Canyon Fire has claimed six homes and 10 other unidentified structures. Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze diligently, along with four helicopters carrying water to and from the burning hills. Tuesday brought gusty winds that caused the fire to increase in size exponentially. It is now to said to be around 3,500 acres. The previous mention of 3,600 aces in an article before was inaccurate information. At that time, the fire was a little over 1,800 acres.
Officials have reported that the fire is only 10 percent contained, and that a public meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Recreation Center Theater on the Central Washington University campus. A red flag warning has been issued for the greater part of Central Washington, due to the fire and how fast it is growing. The National Weather Service says that warning will continue until 10 p.m. Tuesday. No rain is expected this week, foreseeing long days of winds and warm temperatures for the teams fighting the inferno.
Latest updates report that more than 1,000 homes are threatened by the Snag Canyon Fire, and additional evacuations are pending. Over 1,728 firefights have been assigned to battle the blaze, along with members of the Washington National Guard. Road closures are in place, staffed by police officers and other official city personnel. Along the shoulders, Ellensburg residents lined up their cars and jumped out, snapping pictures quickly with cameras and iPhones to catch the fire’s rapid growth.
One orange-vested worker stood vigil at the road closing of Charlton Road and Wilson Creed Road, one to two miles away from the flames devouring the landscape behind him. He said he had arrived to his post at 6 a.m. to just one section of the hills ablaze. By 4 p.m., he said that the fire had spread over several hill tops, which estimates to a mile east of where it originally started. Bursts of fire and towering smoke could be clearly seen from his vantage point.
The Snag Canyon Fire originally started late Saturday afternoon, August 2nd, when lightning struck the ground. Emergency shelters at Mercer Creek Church and the Ellensburg fairgrounds will be kept open until they are no longer needed. All updates on the Snag Canyon Fire come as quickly as new information is gathered.
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Coverage and image by Rachel Roddy