'Perfect storm' forms around Table Mountain, Wenatchee wildfires


by Associated Press and KING 5 News


Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 10:37 AM

Weather could create a "perfect storm" Thursday, causing wildfires already racing across Central Washington to explode in size and put firefighters at risk.

The Table Mountain Complex includes several wildfires that have burned about 9,500 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg. Firefighters have it less than 10 percent contained.

More than a dozen wildfires of the Wenatchee Complex have scorched 40,000 acres of land from Wenatchee to Entiat. It is 22 percent contained.

Firefighters said because temperatures are high, humidity is low and winds are just right it could form a "perfect storm" for fire growth.

On the Table Mountain Complex, weather combined with the type of fuel the fire is burning in is also putting firefighters in danger. The fires are burning in dead, dry timber, putting off massive smoke columns. There is concern the weather will cause the columns of ash, smoke and soot to eventually collapse, choking, blinding and trapping firefighters.

During the night, new neighborhoods across Kittitas and Chelan counties were placed under mandatory evacuation orders.

Click here to see the list of evacuations for Table Mountain and Wenatchee

There are air quality and health concerns for residents. People are asked to stay indoors and limit physical activity.

Central Washington University moved its Saturday football game against Azusa Pacific University from Ellensburg to Bothell, in what would have been the school's home opener. A Friday night high school game between Wenatchee and Eastmont also was moved to Moses Lake.

The Red Cross has re-activated the emergency shelter in Wenatchee at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on the corner of 5th and Western.

An emergency animal shelter has been opened at the Chelan County Fairgrounds for large domestic animals. Small animals may be sheltered at the Countryside Veterinary Clinic, 405 Ohme Road.


Table Mountain Complex updates

Wenatchee Complex updates


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