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Disasters and Accidents

Winds Blowing Ellensburg-Area Wildfire Away From Homes Today

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Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Kittitas County Commissioner Obie O’Brien said he fears about a dozen homes have been lost to a fast-growing wildfire in the foothills north of Ellensburg, Washington. Those losses have not been confirmed.

State Department of Natural Resources regional manager Todd Walker said hundreds of firefighters have been called in to corral the fire.

“We’re still predicting erratic winds over the next couple of days. So that is going to be a factor,” he said. “Luckily, right now the winds are blowing it away from most of the structures. The fire is going the way we want it go up in the forest right now.”

The newly-named Snag Canyon fire covered about 3,500 acres as of mid-morning Sunday. Big plumes of white smoke can be seen twisting into the sky north of Ellensburg.

The DNR said intense thunder and lightning storms Saturday ignited 25 to 30 new wildfires in central Washington state.