Bringing a Chief Home | 10

UPDATE 10 | November 19, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

It was a somber day as SFD Deputy Chief Jay Schreckengost’s body was brought home today. First responders and many firefighters lined the procession route to offer their condolences and respect for their Chief.

Credit | KCSO

Firefighters and first responders stood in silence as they mourned his passing from a recent fall near Cliffdell, when he went out alone to scout for elk. He had called his wife that morning to say he parked his vehicle and would call back that night to let his family know he made it safely back to his rented cabin in Naches. After his family was unable to locate him, he was reported missing on November 2, 2021.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office released this Official Statement about his cause of death and further details:

“The body of Deputy Fire Chief Jay Schreckengost was transported home to Seattle today by members of the Seattle Fire Department in Fire Department vehicles.

A forensic examination of the Chief ordered by the Kittitas County Coroner revealed numerous injuries including a broken wrist and broken spine. The autopsy concluded the cause of the Chief’s death was multiple blunt force trauma. Further investigation in the field led investigators to believe Chief Schreckengost fell down a steep hillside or cliff faces more than once before coming to rest where he was found last Sunday.

It’s known that there was snow on the ground when Chief Schreckengost went scouting for Elk on the morning of Tuesday, 11/2—creating slick conditions in that already rugged and dangerous terrain. The location where he was found was near the bottom of a sharp, broken slope about 700 feet in elevation, north-northeast from the end of Spur Rd 553 off Forest Service Rd 1703 in the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest near Cliffdell.

It’s believed the Chief slipped or fell down a part of that slope into the terrain where he could neither climb back up nor safely descend. Another fall brought him near the bottom of the slope and caused a fatal spinal fracture.

The area where the Chief came to rest was covered in thick brush and could not be safely navigated by searchers without technical climbing equipment and expertise.

The team that located him on the afternoon of Sunday, 11/14, included members of Mountain Rescue Teams from Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and the Olympic and Central Mountain Rescue Teams. These teams are skilled and trained volunteers who searched miles of cliff bands in the mountainous area near the Chief’s last known location before finally locating him.

The Mountain Rescue Teams and all the Search and Rescue volunteers who participated were part of a monumental effort including and spurred by the passion of Chief Schreckengost’s fellow Seattle Firefighters.

The coordination and commitment of everyone who assisted in the search was a fitting tribute to the Chief, and we hope that his final voyage home provides some comfort to all who loved him.”


If you are a first responder, Fire/Police, EMS, Dispatcher, or a family of one and find it difficult with this news, please reach out for free, confidential 24/7/365 assistance to Safe Call Now by calling 206-459-3020.

More information will be updated if a Celebration of Life will be open to the public or to his close families (immediate and Fire), friends and family. – We hope you will say a prayer or two or thought for those impacted by this tragic loss. – Ed.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

Missing Chief Found | Update 9

UPDATE 9 | November 14, 2021

The almost two-week search for missing experienced hunter and Seattle Fire Deputy Chief, Jay Schreckengost has come to a close this evening after he was located deceased about one-half mile from where his previously discovered truck had been located. Released by the Sheriff’s Office, there was no suspicious activity of nature or foul play but the exact cause of his death is under investigation. No preliminary cause was released.

We send our sincere sympathies and thoughts to his immediate and fire families, loved ones, friends and, to the communities he served in. DC Schreckengost will be greatly missed by many and out of respect to his family – we are asking those to please allow them to grieve his passing.

Hunter and DC Schreckengost was last seen on November 2nd, around 0700 PT in Naches (Yakima County), Washington when he texted his wife to say that he had parked his truck and going out to scout for an area for elk hunting. He was due to call his family that night to let them know he had returned safely to his rented cabin at the Squak Rock Resort and RV park but they never received the call. He was reported as missing after not being able to locate him, to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office immediately but it would be deemed by the County, that the Chief was actually missing in nearby Kittitas County. This County Sheriff’s Office would take the lead as both the primary SAR agency and as PIO. Yakima County and Kittitas County worked together as Unified Command, as well as combining their resources together. Over the course of the search to this day, there have been more than 60 agencies and 150-plus off-duty Seattle Fire personnel, as well as other FD personnel joining in the search.

From past experience, this is out-of-the-norm for searches to have this number of resources completely focusing on this type of search. Glad to hear that so many were looking for him.

THANK YOU to those who spent countless time, energy, money and worked together to find him. – Ed.

Kittitas County released this Official presser this evening:

If you are a first responder, Fire/Police, EMS, Dispatcher, or a family of one and find it difficult with this news, please reach out for free, confidential 24/7/365 assistance to Safe Call Now by calling 206-459-3020.

Please check back for updates. We will be posting as new information is received.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

Thorp Prairie Hill | Thorp, WA | 2

UPDATE 2 — JULY 25, 2021 — 1700 HOURS PT

INCIDENT SUMMARY

A wildfire called the THORP PRAIRIE HILL FIRE is burning in the northwest community of Thorp (Kittitas County), Washington. This time the fire ignited from an unknown on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

RESOURCES

Resources sent to this wildfire incident are ALPINE-80 ALPINE-81 E-331 E-4201 E-4202 E-4204 E-4205 H-339 KIT-25 KIT-27 (IC) original resources.

Resources assigned currently are ALPINE-80 ALPINE-81 CREW-83 E-331 E-4201 E-4202 E-4204 E-4205 H-339 KIT-25 KIT-27. (Updated resource list).

Incident Cooperators: WA DNR, KCFD1, Local additional agencies.

CURRENT STATUS

Fire is not impacted I-90 through the area, says the Washington State Patrol.

Fire is estimated at 57 acres of grass and shrub, with an unknown containment status. Crews are working on constructing line around the fire.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

Thorp Prairie Hill | Thorp, WA | 1

UPDATE 1 — JULY 25, 2021 — SUNDAY — 1455 HOURS PT

INCIDENT SUMMARY

A wildfire called the THORP PRAIRIE HILL FIRE is burning in the northwest community of Thorp (Kittitas County), Washington. This time the fire ignited from an unknown on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

FIRE HISTORY IN THIS IMPACTED AREA

Today’s fire is just one of many that have hit this area. Here is a compiled list of previous incidents.

July 23, 2021

THORP PRAIRIE CANAL FIRE. Call dispatched 1432 hours PT. Contained 1751 hours. Controlled 2134 hours. Brush fire on median and shoulders of I-90. EB I-90 shut down at MP 77. 5 miles west of Cle Elum. WB I-90 at MP 84 also closed. 27.7 acres. Incident Cooperators: KCFD1, KVFR, WA DNR.

2nd fire breaks out on I-90 near exit 93. 7 miles east of Cle Elum.

June 26, 2021

HORLICK ROAD FIRE. 3rd alarm brush fire. Located in Sunlight Waters / Thorp areas. Level 3 evacuations were ordered on June 26, 2021 then lowered back down to Level 1. Cause of the fire is unknown. All structures were saved by firefighters. Incident Cooperators: Kittitas County Fire District 1, KVFR, KCFD7, WA DNR, USFS, Kittitas County SO.

June 17, 2021

Credit — KCFD1

Brush Fire. Brush fire along I-90, mile post 95. Near Thorp Prairie Road. Call dispatched 1259 hours. Out. 0.5 acres. Incident Cooperators: KCFD1, WA DNR.

May 9, 2021

Wildfire. South of Cle Elum. Incident Cooperators; KCFD1, KCFD7, WA DNR, Roslyn FD.

Credit: KCFD1

September 2, 2020

EVANS CANYON FIRE. 12,900 acres with a 0% containment is notably covered on Social Media. Fire started in Yakima County and quickly moved into Kittitas County onto Thorp Highway. Incident Cooperators: KCFD1, Yakima Valley VFD, Ellensburg FD, Selah Fire, Easton FD (KCFD3), KCFD7 and Yakima County FD. Both Level 2 and 1 evacuations were ordered by the Kittitas County SO on September 1, 2020.

Credit — KCFD1

August 5, 2020

Fire located outside of Cle Elum. 2 acres. Incident cooperators: KCFD7, FD1, FD3, Roslyn FD, WA DNR and Cle Elum FD.

Credit — KCFD1

June 28, 2020

Brush fire on North Thorp Highway in Thorp. Dispatched time around 1330 hours PT.

Credit — KCFD1

July 20, 2019July 24, 2019

PIPELINE FIRE. Brush Fire. WB I-90, exit 101 at Thorp Road. 9 miles west of Ellensburg, near the Gladmar Road (Thorp Fruit stand). Gibson and Sons recognized for helping fire suppression efforts by running their excavator out to the fire line to spread out the piles that were causing fire objective challenges. Cause: unknown but large piles of wood and debris caught fire. Fire put out on July 23, 2021 and moved to Patrol status. Incident Cooperators: KCFD1, KVFR, KCFD7, WA DNR, WSP and Roslyn FD.

Credit – KCFD1

June 11, 2019

Brush Fire on Dudley Road in Thorp. Fire quickly knocked down, lined and mopped up. .25 acres burned.

Credit — KCFD1

August 23, 2018

Grass fire. WB I-90 at mile marker 104.

June 28, 2017

Brush Fire. EB I-90, mile post 94. 8 miles east of Cle Elum. Thorp Road is closed.

Image
Credit – WSP PIO Trooper John Bryant. June 28, 2017 Fire.

September 6, 2016

HAYWARD FIRE. Northwest of Thorp. 50 acres. Fire behavior is active with wind-driven runs and a rate of spread to grass fuels.

July 4, 2016

Brush Fire. 2 miles east of Thorp off of I-90. small fire in the median. Dispatched at 2345 hours PT.

August 25, 2013

MANASTASH RIDGE FIRE. Located in Thorp, Washington.

August 24, 2012

Fire consumes fuels around wind turbines just outside of Thorp. No damage done to mammoth turbines.

August 15, 2012

A wildfire in Cle Elum and Thorp has burned more than 40-square miles.

August 13, 2012

Thorp Fire. Limited info. Smoke and Air Quality broadcasts made.

RESOURCES

Resources sent to this wildfire incident are ALPINE-80 ALPINE-81 E-331 E-4201 E-4202 E-4204 E-4205 H-339 KIT-25 KIT-27 (IC).

Incident Cooperators: WA DNR, KCFD1, Local additional agencies.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

WA | Wiehl Ridge Fire | 1

UPDATE 1 — JULY 4, 2021 — 1815 PT

Kittitas County, Washington — Another wildfire is burning in the State of Washington, with this one outside just northeast of Cle Elum on Teanaway Road and on Wiehl Ridge.

May be an image of outdoors
Credit — Kittitas Co. FPD6

Resources were dispatched this afternoon at 1322 hours to the area, which included AA-10F, ALPINE-80, ALPINE-81, CREW-33, E-331, E-4204, E4205, E4206, FB-205, FB-244- FUELS-34, H-339, H-344, KIT-26, KIT-27, KIT-60.

Incident Cooperators include — KCFPD6, KCSO, KVFR2,

CLOSED >> Red Bridge Road from Masterson Road to Teanaway Road.

EVACUATIONS >> are in effect.

Level 3 – GO NOW! >> Wiehl Road, Loping Lane down to Red Bridge Road.

Fire is estimated at 30 acres of grass, brush and slash with an unknown containment status. Some media outlets are reporting the fire to be out.

Cause is unknown.

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

WA | Koffman Road Fire | 1

UPDATE 1 — 1547 HOURS PT — SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 2021

Local fire units were dispatched through KITTCOM at 1202 hours to a wildfire burning on Koffman Road, less than 10 miles east of Ellensburg (Kittitas County), Washington State.

The incident was quickly upgraded to a four-alarm fire due to structures being threatened, high temps, low relative humidity and winds.

For almost four hours, both ground crews aided by aircraft dropping water and retardant from the air. Additionally, they were helped with private landowners who have dozers and fire department equipment to further stop the forward progression of the fire.

During the course of the incident, they were faced with hot temps, high winds, low relative humidity and dangerous conditions.

LEVEL 3 evacuations were issued for residents in the Park Creek Road to Clerf Road areas. This means GO NOW!

LEVEL 2 evacuations were issued for residents in the Park Creek Road to Koffman Road. This means GET READY!

AA-10F AHTANUM E-4201 E-4202 E-4204 E-4205 H-339 H-344 KIT-25 KIT-26 KIT-27 KIT-60. (1303 PT) WA DNR Copters 339 and 344, with Yakima FD units.

The fire burned about 425 acres and is currently 90% lined. Firefighters will continue to staff and provide point protection. Additionally, two WA DNR copters 339 and 344 were on-scene but have now been released (1625) with already returned aircraft to their bases.

A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for Monday, June, 28th from 0900 hours to 2000 hours PT. Expected easterly winds to 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph, relative humidity to 10-15% and high temps.

One primary home was lost along with six outbuildings. 425 acres were scorched.

Two Fire Investigators were requested to the scene. One, was responding right away and while the other will be arriving around 2000 hours PT.

The preliminary cause for this wildfire is currently unknown, as well as if and how many injuries were suffered from the fire.

Another update will be posted once cause is received or significant fire active occurs.

Please visit our Social Media Channels here >>> @nwfireblog Twitter/Facebook – NW Fire Blog – Instagram

(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog

The Wildfire Log | Bald Mtn Rd Fire | WA | 2

YAKIMA, Wash. | An RV fire reportedly sparked a brush-turned-wildfire on Sunday, June 2, 2019 in the late morning.  The fire was said to be about 1.7 miles southeast of the Squaq Rock Campground.

Fire crews and equipment was quickly dispatched via the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center from Yakima City FD, County, WA DNR and Nile FD to approximately 1-1.5 miles up Bald Mtn. Rd and located between Mileposts 103 and 104 off of Hwy 410 in Yakima.

Resources consisted of three brush trucks, one DNR helicopter and multiple engines, as well as fire support personnel.

The fire was stopped heading south down to 410 but it continued to move uphill and burning on the hillside above.

Firefighters egressed on the RV fire putting it out and immediately going into mop up operations.

The size of the fire was reportedly approximately to be three acres.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 6/2/2019 @ 1332 hours PDT

The Wildfire Log | Benton Fire | WA | 2

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. | A wildfire is burning at Benton Creek that ignited on Sunday, June 2, 2109.  Fire personnel and equipment were dispatched at 1135 hours PDT.

The fire is currently one acre of grass, brush and slash.  The containment status is unknown at this time.

Resources include:  E382, H346, SE461, 521 and Jones.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 6/2/2019 @ 1304 hours PDT

The Wildfire Log | Bald Mtn Rd Fire | WA | 1

YAKIMA, Wash. | An RV fire reportedly sparked a brush-turned-wildfire on Sunday, June 2, 2019 in the late morning.  The RV was said to be blocking the Bald Mtn Road and was found to be on fire.

Fire crews and equipment was quickly dispatched from Yakima City FD, County, WA DNR and Nile FD to approximately 1-1.5 miles up Bald Mtn. Rd and located between Mileposts 103 and 104 off of Hwy 410 in Yakima.

Resources consisted of three brush trucks, one DNR helicopter and multiple engines, as well as fire support personnel.

The fire was stopped heading south down to 410 but it continued to move uphill and burning on the hillside above.

Firefighters egressed on the RV fire putting it out and immediately going into mop up operations.

The size of the fire was reportedly approximately to be three acres.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 6/2/2019 @ 1220 hours PDT

NEW | WA WILDFIRE | MP 14 FIRE

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. – A brush fire broke out eastbound on I-82 on milepost 14 on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, around 2017 hours PDT.

Resources from the Kittitas Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched along with assistance from Washington State Patrol (and PIO Trooper Brian Moore).  The fire was said to be moving away from the highway and into the scrub.

Fire Officials stated the fire has been knocked down and there is approximately two hours of mopping up.

A cause is unknown at this time.

No reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters/law enforcement .

(c) NW Fire Blog – Updated @ 2110 hours PDT