Taylor Bridge

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A damaging wildfire in central Washington has been declared 100 percent contained, this more than two weeks after it ignited. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Burned Trees Pose Risk To Returning Evacuees

Aug 24, 2012
Liz Banse

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

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

There’s been some speculation over the years as to how wind farms would hold up in the event of a large wildfire. Now, the verdict is in. From EarthFix, Courtney Flatt reports a central Washington wind farm was not damaged.

Scorched earth surrounds wind turbines just outside Cle Elum, Washington. A fire that drove through over the last week and a half destroyed more than 50 houses and has burned an estimated 23,000 acres. It did not burn 48 wind turbines.

Operations manager Eric Melbardis says gravel landscaping protected the turbines from the fire.

Taylor Bridge Wildfire Containment Delayed

Aug 23, 2012

Fire officials in central Washington are pushing back their timeline to fully contain the Taylor Bridge fire. They’d hoped to have the fire 100 percent contained by tomorrow. But now officials say early next week is more likely.

Last Stretch Of Taylor Bridge Fire Hard To Contain

Aug 22, 2012
Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews in central Washington say they’ll need a couple more days to contain the last 10 percent of the Taylor Bridge fire. The blaze near Cle Elum, Wash., is 90 percent surrounded by fire lines, with full containment expected by Friday. The last open stretch of wildfire is in especially steep, rocky terrain.

Photo courtesy Wash. Department of Ecology

Firefighters are getting a better handle on the Taylor Bridge fire burning in central Washington State. Fire crews say they have the fire 90 percent contained. So far the blaze has destroyed more than 50 homes and displaced many residents and livestock. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Firefighters in Central Washington are contending with heavy winds today as they try to get control of the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum. Gusts of up to 30 miles per hour have been testing the fire lines. So far the blaze has scorched more than 23,000 acres, and crews have it 57 percent contained. More than 1,000 people are working to put out the blaze.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews expect to contain the Taylor Bridge Fire in central Washington by Tuesday afternoon. Crews are now working in steep terrain on the northwest side of the blaze.

Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Residents are returning to their homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington nears containment.

Bryan Flint / Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire bosses at the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington are letting more evacuees return to their homes Friday.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Over a hundred volunteers are helping to evacuate, sort and care for animals burned or displaced by the Taylor Bridge Fire near Cle Elum in Washington State.

Fire officials in central Washington are investigating whether construction at a bridge near Cle Elum sparked the 23,000 acre wildfire there. Incident commanders won’t say definitively what started the fire. But they do say the blaze was human caused and it began near the bridge construction site.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Emergency managers in central Washington have started to collect damage reports from businesses and homeowners affected by this week's destructive wildfire. That's a prerequisite to apply for federal disaster assistance. State fire investigators have established that the Taylor Bridge Fire was human-caused.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Fire officials have reduced evacuation levels for several areas around the Taylor Bridge Fire. But hundreds of displaced residents in central Washington's Kittitas County are waiting and wondering if their homes still stand. Many fled just in time. More than 70 structures have burned down.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Fire officials on the Taylor Bridge blaze near the mountain town of Cle Elum, Wash., are worried about the hot weather forecast for the next few days. Correspondent Anna King reports from the scene of the fire.

Fire Crews Report Progress Fighting Taylor Bridge Fire

Aug 15, 2012
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire fighting officials in central Washington say it will take five to seven days to contain the Taylor Bridge fire near the town of Cle Elum. In a community meeting Wednesday, incident commander Rex Reed said the blaze has burned 22,000 acres. Previous estimates pegged the fire at more than 28,000 acres. It’s destroyed at least 60 structures.

Wash. Department of Natural Resources

The Taylor Bridge fire in central Washington is still keeping about 450 people from their homes near the town of Cle Elum. Some residents have remained, despite the heavy smoke from a fire that’s consumed 28,000 acres.

Massive Taylor Bridge Fire Still Burning

Aug 15, 2012
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

Fire management teams are hoping that additional air support and favorable weather conditions will help in the containment of the massive Taylor Bridge Wildfire east of Cle Elum.  The blaze has consumed some 60 homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

Firefighters battling the massive Taylor Bridge Wildfire east of Cle Elum are hoping added air support and light winds will allow them to get containment up to 25 percent by this evening.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Dry winds and lots of fuel are making the Taylor Bridge Fire one of the most dangerous the state of Washington has seen in the last several years, said the Commissioner of Public Lands in a press briefing earlier this evening.

Washington’s lieutenant governor has declared a state of emergency in central Washington because of a still-growing wildfire. The emergency declaration allows the National Guard to lend helicopters to the firefighting effort. The blaze has chased hundreds of people from their homes between Cle Elum and Ellensburg.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Heavy air tankers are dropping retardant on a stubborn wildfire still wreaking havoc in Washington’s Kittitas Valley.