Hazardous Charred Trees
4:13 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Burned Trees Pose Risk To Returning Evacuees

Property owners in central Washington are confronting a common issue after wildfires: safety around charred trees.

Kitittas County public works director Kirk Holmes says trees damaged by wildfire tend to split or snap when you take a chainsaw to them. Some may even still be hot inside. He also says wind gusts can knock down brittle trees and limbs unexpectedly.

“People are going to come back, see damage, they don’t want to stare at it for a long time," Holmes says. "They’re gonna want to take action quickly and I don’t blame them, at all. But what we want to make sure they’re doing is doing it safely.”

Meanwhile, the force fighting the Taylor Bridge fire is shrinking to 200 people over the next few days, down from a peak of 1,000. The blaze is 91 percent surrounded by fire lines with full containment expected by Wednesday.

The last count confirms that the fire has destroyed 61 homes or cabins and damaged seven others. Another 35 sheds or outbuildings have also been lost.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Taylor Bridge Fire updates:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3152/