More Good News Than Bad From Kittitas Wildfire Frontlines Today

Aug 20, 2012

Fire bosses at the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington gave an upbeat progress report at a community briefing in Cle Elum Friday. Firefighters targeted full containment of the nearly 23,000 acre blaze by Sunday. Reporter Courtney Flatt is on the scene. She says the mood at the community briefing was more curious than anything else.

Flatt: "There have been some rumors going on I think through Facebook and Twitter. So they just wanted to hear from the fire crews themselves what is going on. I think they were calmed a little bit by hearing what the (fire command) had to say."

Flatt says many of the questions from fire victims have to do with getting back on their feet.

Flatt: "Right now they're worried about water quality issues. A lot of wells have been burned up. People are concerned about livestock and finding their livestock. Fire crews are saying there have not been as many livestock injuries and deaths as have been reported. So that was good news for people at the meeting today."

At the briefing, fire managers also revised their estimate for the number of homes destroyed by the Taylor Bridge Fire. The latest numbers are slightly lower than before -- now it's 48 "primary residences" burned to the ground and 15 other structures lost.

Expected lightning strikes did not materialize over the weekend, and weather conditions have helped firefighters to contain the fire. Fire officias expect to contain the blaze Monday if good weather continues.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio