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FEMA approves funds to help fight 1,000-acre wildfire in Vantage

Photo: Washington State DNR Wildfire

VANTAGE, Wash. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to help fight the Ryegrass Coulee fire in Vantage.

Funds to assist in fighting the fire, which has burned about 1,000 acres, were approved 5:41 a.m., Tuesday. Mike O'Hare, FEMA Region 10 Administrator, determined this wildfire poses threats that would constitute a major disaster.

The request was made while flames were threatening approximately 140 homes in the Vantage community, causing the entire town to evacuate their homes. Evacuations have since been lowered, allowing people to return home. The community is advised to stay alert should fire conditions change.

Interstate 90 was previously shut down Tuesday morning from Ellensburg to Vantage as flames impacted the area. Roads have since reopened.

Leaders said the fire started burning Monday, scorching in excess of 300 acres of both state and private land. So far, the blaze is about three percent contained, Kittitas County officials said.

According to a FEMA news release, this is the first Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration for the 2018 Washington fire season.

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