Kittitas County, WA -08/17/2012 – In response to the Taylor Bridge fire, Kittitas County Public Health Department is providing some guidelines for evacuees to consider when returning to their homes to avoid health and safety problems. Prompt and safe cleanup procedures will help residents move forward with their lives while minimizing potential health and environmental issues that may be exacerbated with improper cleanup methods.
- Ash and debris from burned structures may contain toxic substances. Care should thus be taken when handling any materials from buildings that are either partially damaged or completely destroyed by the fire.
- Dispose of household chemicals that have been damaged by the fire at the Ellensburg or Cle Elum Moderate Risk Waste Facility (transfer stations).
- If you have a propane tank system, contact a propane supplier, turn off the valves on the system, and leave the valves closed until the supplier inspects your system.
- If you have a heating oil tank system, contact a heating oil supplier for an inspection before using it.
- If you have determined that burying any dead animals is an appropriate method, be sure every part of the carcass is covered by at least three feet of soil; at a location not less than 100 feet from any well, spring, stream, or other surface water.
- Discard any food that may be contamined by heat, smoke fumes, chemicals, and power outages.
- Use a “particulate respirator” to help to protect your lungs during cleanup efforts, such as one that has the word “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it.
- Perform a visual inspection of your well and other components which are part of your water supply system. If you find damage, contact an appropriate contractor to repair the damage.
- If your water system has been damaged or if you are in doubt about the safety of your water, you may want to have your water tested. Water testing kits are available from the Kittitas County Public Health Department 507 N. Nanum, Suite 102, Ellensburg, 509-962-7515 or Evergreen Valley Utilities, 301 W First St, Cle Elum, 509-674-9642.
- If you do not have water that you know is safe, use bottled water or purify the water for drinking purposes using chemical disinfection or boiling the water for at least 10 minutes.
- Inspect your septic system for damage. If it is damaged, backing up, or malfunctioning, discontinue use and contact a septic system installer or designer for guidance and instruction.
- Tetanus is a concern for persons with both open and closed wounds, and a tetanus vaccination is recommended for all residents returning to the burn area who have not had a documented dose within the past ten years.
For more detailed information on safe clean up and health considerations when returning to your home, please see the county health dept. website at www.co.kittitas.wa.us/health
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Evacuation Upgrade North of Laurderdale Junction
Incident: Taylor Bridge Fire Wildfire
Released: 4 hrs. ago
Kittitas County Sheriff
Public Service Announcement
8/17/12 Taylor Bridge FirePSA 1430
Kittitas County, WA-08/17/2012 – Evacuation UPGRADE North of Lauderdale Junction.
Evacuation Level 1 North of SR 970 has been upgraded to a Level 2. Areas north of SR 970 include SwaukPrairie, Ley Road, and Hartman Road. Law Enforcement will be in the areacontacting residences.
Areas north of SR 97 to north of China Camp Lane to include Shamrock Lane and Forbes Lane, have now been upgraded to a Level 2 Evacuation.
Areas south from the following line. SR 97, from Bettas Road intersection follow the BPA Powerlineswest to the Hayward Road and SR 10 intersection have been downgraded to a Leve l2 Evacuation.
Read the full public service announcement at
1430 PM 8 17 2012.pdf.
ABLAZE-Taylor Bridge Fire consumes 22,600 acres-and still burning-front page-photos, cont. story page A6-8 (please note: a photo of Commissioner of Lands Peter Goldmark was mistakenly identified as Incident Commander Rex Reed on Page A-7. Our sincere apologies for the error and any confusion it may have caused.)
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Fire mapping information including confirmed evacuation areas may be found on Kittitas County’s website’s targeted web application hosted by ArcGIS.
Information provided by Kittitas County Information Technology.
Everyone advised to limit outdoor activity
Aug. 14, 2012 – Smoke from the Taylor Bridge Forest Fire in between Ellensburg and Cle Elum has caused “very unhealthy” air quality conditions as of the morning of August 14, 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology air quality monitoring site in Ellensburg. The range of air quality categories include good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous. Air quality is expected to be in the unhealthy range at least throughout the week.
During these conditions, everyone should try to limit their outdoor activity, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants. It is especially important for certain populations to remain indoors with windows and doors closed:
- People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions such as asthma or emphysema, diabetes, or other respiratory infections;
- People who have had a stroke;
- Infants, children, and adults older than 65; and
- Pregnant women.
Air conditioning units should be set on “recycle” or “recirculate” mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air. People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality such as a friend’s house, relative’s house, or a public space.
Members of the general population may also begin to feel adverse effects from poor air quality and should consider following these same precautions. Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea. Please contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
Current air quality monitoring can be seen on the Washington State Department of Ecology air monitoring site: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/
Information about health effects from wild fire smoke can be found on the Washington State Department of Health site: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx