Taylor Bridge Wildfire Has Burned Area Almost the Size of Tacoma
The latest estimate on the size of the Taylor Bridge Wildfire, which started Monday afternoon, is
more than 28,000 acres 22,600 acres, after a fly-over of the scene (28,000 acres have already burned). The fire is about 75 miles east of Seattle; and miles of highways and county roads remain closed (SR97 between SR970 and SR10, and SR10 from Taylor Rd to the SR97 Junction).
The wildfire was only ten percent contained as of Wednesday morning, and KIRO TV quoted Kittitas County Fire and Rescue Capt. Joe Seemiller saying, ”Unless Mother Nature helps us out here, we’re going to be fighting this awhile.” If Wednesday is a “good” day, containment may reach 25 percent. [UPDATE: It has, but growth potential remains high.] About 800 firefighters are involved in the effort, with air tanker and helicopter support. Another 100 on the way will bring the total to 900.
Some 70 homes and structures have been lost, and at least 900 residents evacuated, along with several hundred livestock. (Owners setting horses, cows, and sheep free to run for it have been advised to spray paint their cell phone number of the sides of the animals.) Evacuees are being housed in emergency shelters at the Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center and Central Washington University’s Munson Dorms. There are concerns that the wildfire could jump I-90, given the right conditions. The video below was shot from I-90 yesterday.
In today’s world, there’s not just video, of course. There’s also an interactive wildfire panorama. And the National Weather Service has a satellite photo showing the airborne smoke from the many wildfires burning across the western U.S.