NEW | Washington Wildfire | Ryegrass Coulee Fire

VANTAGE, Wash. -UPDATE 1 – 0445 hours

INCIDENT SUMMARY | A wildfire named the RYEGRASS COULEE FIRE for its location in in Ryegrass Coulee in Vantage, Washington started last night on Monday, July 9, 2018 with first resources dispatched at 2302 hours.

The incident unfolded like this,

July 9, 2018 (2315 PDT) | A exploding wildfire was reported to FIRE and Police Officials burning on mile post 133 on next to I-90.  It was said to be wind-driven that had jumped the eastbound lanes and burning into the median.  A request for additional resources was made through dispatch.

July 10, 2018 (After Midnight-0018 Hours PDT) | The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office began issuing  evacuation orders in the town of Vantage with more details released about 10 minutes later to include Level 2 and 3 orders in the town of Vantage.  At that time, the bridge was still considered open.   With the fire moving so quickly, road blocks were established at  mile post 115 and to the east side of the Columbia River.

July 10, 2018 (0028 Hours PDT) | The size of the fire was deemed to be around 100 to 200 acres.  Another road closure would go into effect on the infamous Vantage Highway at Vantage.  Quickly, the fire was said to be about .5 miles from the town of Vantage and authorities were working to protect the town’s water tower and its structures.

July 10, 2018 (0134 Hours PDT) Vantage Highway would be shutdown shortly thereafter, along with evacuating the town urgently.

July 10, 2018 (0200 Hours PDT) Fire  crews were tasked with structure protection of the town and its entirety.  At this time,  300 plus acres of grass and brush had burned. Fire behavior is extreme and spreading rapidly.  Fire has established itself on the south side of I-90 and has made it up to Huntzinger Road.

Firefighters were heard stating  (when Scanner feed was working) difficulty with getting through gated communities to protected and secured homes.  Some reported that horses were being let out of gated areas and running away from the fire.

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Photo Credit | Kittitas County Sheriff Office

RESOURCES | Initial Fire resources include Ahtanum 20 dozer-ALP, SE-426, SE-442, SE-SEWELL, SE-SLYFIEL.

State Mobe resources were approved at 0227 hours this morning and en route.  They will be pouring into the area all morning long.

Kittitas County Fire District 1’s Chief 11 is currently assisting multiple fire agencies.

SIT REP | Evacuations both Level 2 and 3 are in effect. Road and highway closures are currently in lock down.

Structure protection of the town of Vantage is currently in process.

Fire has jumped the highway and barreling towards the town of Vantage. 22 miles of I-90 near Vantage is currently closed.

The nearby campground is under Level 2 evacuations but Officials have told them to shelter-in-place due to roadways are impassable.

The fire is burning more intensely and more actively.

Washington State DOT cameras show a brush fire turned wildfire is in dire straits showing fire is burning up the whole area.  I-90 MP 138 Vantage Br. (View West)

EVACUATIONS –> are in effect for the following areas:

Level 3 Evacuations notice for the town of Vantage and for those within one mile south of I-90 on Huntzinger Road.  LEAVE IMMEDIATELY

Level 2 Evacuations notice for Wanapum State Park.  Campers will need to shelter in place as Huntzinger Road is currently impassable.

Evacuation Shelter will be opened by the American Red Cross and located at George Community Hall at 403 W Montmorency Boulevard in George, Washington.

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Photo Courtesy | Kittitas County Sheriff Office

The fire was deemed to be around 100 to 200 acres at 0028 hours on Tuesday morning.  Another road closure at the Vantage Highway at Vantage was in effect.

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Photo Credit | Kittitas County Fire District 1

Quickly, the fire was said to be about .5 miles from the town of Vantage and authorities were working to protect the town’s water tower and its entire town.

Vantage Highway would be shutdown immediately, along with evacuating the town urgently around 0134 hours PDT.

Less than one hour-of-a-hour, fire crews were working tirelessly as they were now in structure protection mode of the towns structures. As of There has already been 300 plus acres of grass and brush burned. Fire behavior is extreme and spreading rapidly.  Fire has established itself on the south side of I-90 and has made it up to Huntzinger Road.

Firefighters were heard stating difficulty with getting through gated communities to protected and secured homes.  Horses were being cut loose from their areas were being heard.

ROAD CLOSURES | I-90 closed from exit 115 eastbound and westbound at the Vantage Bridge.

CURRENT WEATHER | Currently on the Vantage Bridge, temps are 64*F with relative humidity (RH) of 67% with winds at 16 mph and gusts to 41 mph.

SCANNER FEED | Scanner feeds seem to be down in Kittitas County (& for our friends in Grant County). So, we are not getting any updated live coverage.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog