Firefighting efforts continue in Eastern Washington

Aircraft drops fire retardant on Snake River Fire.

Joe Kupferling
Aircraft drops fire retardant on Snake River Fire.

— Fires in Yakima County are contained and evacuation notices have been lifted.

As of Friday, the Halfway Fire evacuation notice was rescinded, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Randy Shepard said in a press release.

The threat was diminished as of noon and the fire was 90 percent contained at that time.

Shepard said there were still some campground closures as firefighters continued mop-up efforts, and worked to address hot spots along the perimeter of the 75-acre fire.

A more recent update was not available this morning.

Also, yesterday, Yakima County Fire District No. 5 and assisting agencies in the Lower Yakima Valley battled a blaze on Toppenish Ridge, which threatened a cemetery and tribal shooting range.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at about 4:30 p.m. It was reported the fire was coming over the ridge about five miles southwest of Granger.

A bulldozer was used to assist firefighters in containing the blaze.

Fire crews established containment lines. The fire appeared to be slowing about two hours after the initial report.

Fire crews are also continuing efforts to mop up the 11,452-acre Snake River Fire near Granite Point.

As of yesterday, the fire was completely contained.

State fire assistance was mobilized for the Fletcher Road Fire near Starbuck and the Lower Crab Creek Fire near Smyrna yesterday.

The Fletcher Road Fire started yesterday morning and was estimated at 2,000 acres and growing yesterday afternoon, a press release from Deputy State Fire Marshal Melissa Gannie said.

Homes, agricultural buildings, crops and other infrastructure were threatened by the blaze.

Fire wildland strike teams, four aircraft, two fire bosses and two helicopters battled the fire.

The Lower Crab Creek Fire began Friday and was estimated at nearly 6,000 acres, Gannie said.

The towns of Beverly and Smyrna were threatened. A level III evacuation was issued Saturday for Smyrna, but was rescinded yesterday.

Four wildland task forces are battling the blaze.


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