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Fire south of Vantage burns three structures, 38,000 acres

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Saddle Mountain Fire - more information

See the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office news release with a link to a map of the Saddle Mountain Fire here.

VANTAGE — The Saddle Mountain Fire, reported at 4:20 p.m. Friday in Kittitas County has grown to 38,000 acres and burned three unidentified structures near the hamlet of Getty’s Cove, county officials said this morning in a news release.

No injuries have been reported. The fire was first spotted off I-90 in the area of Ryegrass, near the Yakima military training center, south of Vantage, the news release said.

The fire was pushed by strong winds to the southeast, toward Huntzinger Road and Auvil Fruit Company orchards, the news release said.

Initially, 69 people and a fire truck were stranded in the Auvil Fruit area, when the fire cut off access on Huntzinger Road, the news release said.

Of those 69 people, 40 “self evacuated” into Grant County across Priest Rapids Dam. As of Friday evening, 29 people sheltered at Auvil, the news release said.

The fire spread to an old wooden train bridge across the Columbia River, Kyle Foreman, spokesman for the Grant  County Sheriff’s Office said this morning. 

The old bridge hasn’t been used for years. It’s creosote-soaked timbers were easily ignited by the flames, Foreman said. 

A change in wind direction kept the fire limited to the bridge’s Kittitas County end. A Grant County fire crew has been stationed at the bridge’s west side to keep the fire from spreading into Grant County, Foreman said.

The Grant County hamlets of Schawanna, Beverly and a manufactured-home community near Wanapum Dam have been given Level 1 notices to be aware that fire is across the Columbia River from them, Foreman said.

Highway 243 from the I-90 bridge south to the Hanford Reach along the Grant County side of the river was closed for a while Friday night due to blowing smoke. It’s been reopened, Foreman said.

No additional information is immediately available, the news release said.


Christine Pratt: 665-1173


Reach Christine Pratt at 509-665-1173 or . Follow her on Twitter at @CPrattWW.