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PICS: Area Firefighters Help Battle Taylor Bridge Fire in Cle Elum

Members of Enumclaw Fire and East Pierce Fire & Rescue joined the battle against wildfires in Eastern Washington this week.

A fast-moving wildfire has rocked Eastern Washington. What started as 2,800 acres of wildfire has turned into more than 20,000 in a matter of hours, forcing Gov. Gregoire to declare Kittitas and Yakima counties in a state of emergency.

Firefighters from across the region have come together to fight the spread, including members of Enumclaw/King County Fire District No. 28 and East Pierce Fire & Rescue.

Enumclaw Fire Chief Joe Clow said the department sent its brush truck along with two firefighters to Cle Elum on Monday. "They were mobilized as a part of a Task Force from King County that was called up at around 4 pm Monday," he said.

On Wednesday, public information officer Tim Perciful of King County Fire District No. 44, also known as Mountain View Fire and Rescue and covering Black Diamond, said he received orders to respond to Cle Elum as well. He'll be working with the ASPCA related to animal issues. District No. 44 Fire Chief Greg Smith said Wednesday that while the district has not yet sent fire resources to the Taylor Bridge fire, "we do have some of the members of the Puget Sound Regional Hand Team that we host with the Strike Team out of King County that left early this week."

With forecasted for the next few days, Fire District 44 will hold its wild land resources (to include trained wild land firefighters, four brush trucks and several water tenders) in reserve for King County during this event, he said. "We ensure that we hold back sufficient resources to protect the District and the County when fire agencies in King County are on a State Mobilization," Smith said.

As of Wednesday morning, King County has sent resources to Cle Elum from Duvall, Eastside Fire, Woodinville, Enumclaw, KCFD 20 and North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, said Smith.

Pierce and Mason counties have also sent strike teams.

According to the EPFR Facebook page, three local firefighters joined the Pierce County Strike Team today, made up of firefighters and equipment from Gig Harbor, the Key Peninsula, Browns Point/Dash Point and Riverside Fire Departments, to the Taylor Bridge fire, northwest of Thorp near Cle Elum.

Crews were still battling the blaze this afternoon, which was headed toward Ellensburg.

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For more updates on the fire in Eastern Washington, follow EPFR firefighters on Facebook and Twitter. Tim Perciful of KCFD No. 44 will also be updating on Facebook and Twitter.

KING-5 is also featuring a fire map that is updated and maintained by the Kittitas County Emergency Management and Sheriff's Department. Find that here.

And if you would like to help, Community Connect, Kittitas County is an open Facebook group in which people are posting their needs as well as what they're able to offer in terms of assistance.

April Chan August 15, 2012 at 07:26 AM
Thanks to King County 4-H for some extra info for people interested in donating to the victims of the fire: Taphouse, Ink. in Black Diamond and Fred's Towing in Enumclaw are accepting donations. See their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/kingcounty4H

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