I-90 Reopens and Evacuation Orders Reduced

Kittitas County Sheriff's Facebook image shows burning guardrail posts

UPDATE 6PM

The Ryegrass Coulee Fire was at 50% containment late Tuesday afternoon and the Type 3 Incident Management Team expects to transition the fire back to local Kittitas County Firefighters on Wednesday.  Information Officer Randy Shepard said “the progress was good on Tuesday and it looks like we will meet our objective on Wednesday and turn the fire back over to local officials”

Shepard was expecting Level 2 evacuation alerts to be reevaluated sometime Tuesday evening.  Huntzinger Road remained closed because of damaged power lines.   The fire did not cross the Columbia River into Grant County. Travelers on I-90 are advised to concentrate and avoid distractions of firefighting activity.  Over 400 guardrail posts on I-90 were damaged in the fire

Original Story

Firefighters knocked down flames near I-90 and the interstate was reopened at noon near Vantage.

Public Information Officer Randy Shepard with the Type 3 Incident Management Team said the 1,000 acre Ryegrass Coulee wildfire evacuation notices have been reduced to Level 2.  The notice was for Vantage residents within one mile of the interstate on Huntzinger Road.  Shepard said one outbuilding is confirmed lost near Huntzinger Road.  There was an evacuation of campers at Wanapum State Park with the assistance of Grant PUD employees at Wanapum Dam.  The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the George Community Hall. Shepard says the fire has not crossed the Columbia River into Grant County. Travelers on I-90 are advised to  avoid distractions of firefighting activity in the area .

150 to 200 additional firefighters are expected to be on the Ryegrass Coulee Fire by Tuesday afternoon. The fire was reported around midnight.

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