Crews make gains on Cle Elum fire; 2 others burning
The Taylor Bridge Fire east of Cle Elum was reported 57 percent contained on Monday, and fire-management officials hoped it could be fully contained by Tuesday.
The Associated Press
YAKIMA — Fire crews reached 57 percent containment Monday on a Central Washington wildfire that has burned dozens of homes over the past week.
The Taylor Bridge fire east of Cle Elum burned across more than 36 square miles, or 23,000 acres, of grass, sagebrush and timber. About 1,000 firefighters are fighting the blaze. On Monday, some of them conducted controlled burns of potential fuel.
Kittitas County estimates that damage from the wildfire will amount to $8.3 million.
Fire-management officials said they were hoping for full containment of the fire by Tuesday.
The fire broke out Aug. 13 at a bridge-construction project, and the cause remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, a new, lightning-caused fire near Wenatchee was reported close to full containment. The Keane Ranch fire burned one square mile of grass, brush and timber. It has not damaged or threatened any structures. That fire was reported Sunday. The cause is believed to be lightning.
A wildfire burning near the confluence of Lost River and Monument Creek, nearly 20 miles northwest of Winthrop, Okanogan County, was being monitored on Monday. The blaze, also started by lightning, was burning in steep terrain in the Pasayten Wilderness.
A lack of safe access prevented firefighters from tackling the blaze directly. Portions of the Monument Creek Trail are closed because of the fire, which had burned about 50 acres.
Most of Eastern Washington was under a fire watch Monday because of high temperatures and low humidity.