Lightning strikes could spark new flames overnight as firefighters continue to work to put out the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum.
By Saturday evening, the fire had burned 23,252 acres, but fire crews reported that they had contained 43 percent of the blaze. Firefighters now expect full containment by early Monday morning.
A total of 48 homes have burned in the fire, along with 15 other structures. Residents were given the latest figures at a Friday afternoon briefing. Previously, state and local officials had estimated that about 70 homes were burned.
Nearly 1,000 firefighters and support personnel were fighting the fire Saturday.
The fire continues to pose a significant challenge, especially along its northern edges, firefighters said. A spot fire broke out Friday afternoon outside the Taylor Bridge firelines, diverting two teams and helicopter resources. That fire was contained at 100 acres.
Fire managers said the focus of fire crews Saturday continues to be strengthening the northern flank of the fire between SR97 and the intersection of SR 970 and SR 10, with special emphasis on Friday's spot fire. Mop-up continued in the remainder of the fire footprint.
The National Weather Service underscored the weather threat in issuing new Red Flag warnings for much of Western Washington. Thunderstorms are expected to cross the region overnight into Sunday, with only small amounts of rainfall. Expected lightning strikes could touch off multiple fires in forests that have not received more than a trace of rain since mid-July.
Dept. of Agriculture seeking information on animals
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says the Washington State Department of Agriculture have asked evacuees to contact the Emergency Operations Center with numbers and types of animals that were left behind, as well as the number of types of deceased animals. Get contact information here
Kittitas County has set up a 211 phone line to provide citizens with specific contact information for agencies providing health and human services, animal services, recovery, housing and food assistance, as well as donations.
Anyone who needs these types of services, or information from these agencies, should dial 211 to acquire the necessary information.
-- Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center, 719 E. Third Street, Cle Elum, (509) 963-1141
-- Central Washington University, Munson Dorms, Ellensburg, (509) 674-7530
-- Animals evacuated to the Kittitas County Fairground
Donations are being accepted by the Red Cross. The Kittitas County Sheriff has said money, not goods, are the best way to help residents. Find out how you can help.
Facebook page for evacuated and injured pets and animals
VCA Animal hospitals in the Western Washington area are offering free boarding assistance for small animals whose families have lost their homes or are among those evacuated. Call the VCA Redmond Animal Hospital at 425-885-1476 for more information.
Associated Press and KING 5 reporting.