Firefighters still battling Jolly Mountain Fire
CLE ELUM, Wash.- Wildfires are still active on Jolly Mountain. The fire has grown to 24,514 acres and is still zero percent contained. The fire has progressed for nearly a month and Information Officer Kale Casey says it will most likely continue to grow.
"This fire will grow, remember there a whole Northwest corner, a whole Northern corner and a whole Northeast corner that are mostly royal areas but there is still is a risk out there. This is going to keep moving and we know that, there is no rain prediction for potentially weeks," says Casey.
There are 775 people fighting the fire from 16 different crews now, 75 more than yesterday. Nine helicopters and 78 fire trucks are all in use to help contain the fire. This past week has been the biggest fire growth since the first initial start of the fire. Casey said that the wind has been there biggest problem but since the weather is better today they hope to make progress on containing the fire. Casey added that safety for the fire crews and people living near the wildfires is the number one focus.
"Life first. I mean that's the thing, there's not a home owner in the state of Washington, whether they are a primary home owner or a secondary home owner who wants a firefighter to die defending their home. We know that, they know that. However, we take risks when we can get a high probability of success," says Casey.
Hundreds of people living in the area have evacuated and it's unsure when it will be safe for them to return home. But Casey says their fire crew won't stop until everyone is safe and the fire is contained. Monday will mark one month since lightning started the Jolly Mountain fire. The National Guard has been activated, 128 soldiers and fifty vehicles arrived to assist firefighters.