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Vantage Highway Fire 15% Contained

VANTAGE – The Vantage Highway Fire is up to 10,500 acres and is 15% contained. So far, there has been one structure lost and three outbuildings. Aircraft will continue this morning supporting the fire with water and retardant along the northern boundary of the fire, beginning with the northeast corner at 8:00 a.m.

Crews on the ground will employ a range of tactics, digging line, “cold trailing” (when firefighters touch the border of a burnt-out section of ground with the backs of their hands to assess whether the fire could kick up again in that area), and conducting small burnouts to secure the line. The focus of these operations is to secure the western flank of the fire.

Last night at about 7:30 p.m., a small slop-over ranging close to a tenth of an acre in size burned over to the south side of Vantage Highway, the southern boundary of the fire. Crews quickly caught the slop-over and today firefighters are continuing mop-up along Vantage Highway. However, this means that more crews will be working in the area, and the Vantage Highway will remain closed today.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. tonight, due to low humidity, high winds, and elevated temperatures. Tomorrow, cooler temperatures are on the horizon. Evacuations and Road Closures: Vantage Highway remains closed from Parke Creek Road through Recreation Drive except for local traffic.

Power crews continue to work diligently to replace damaged power poles along the highway. The highway will not open today. There are no evacuation notices today.

The Kittitas Secondary School is the Incident Command Post for Southeast WA Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team, which is collaborating with Washington DNR, the BLM, and the Washington State Patrol-Fire Marshal’s office for this state mobilization response.