Gov. Jay Inslee speaks on wildfire crisis
CLE ELUM, Wash.- Several fire crews are still working tirelessly to put out many wildfires that have been spreading during the past few weeks. Gov. Jay Inslee met with firefighters today and was debriefed on the situation and spoke on the next course of action.
“What we need now is first the continued cooperation of citizens, we have been pleased that people have responded to the warnings they received, they have by in large completed the level three evacuation,” said Inslee.
The fire has spread to 23,106 acres as of this morning and fire crews have had over 700 people from the National Guard, Federal Fire Agencies and State Agencies to help fight the fires until they are contained. Inslee declared a state of emergency to help fire crews focus on containing the fire.
“The reason I did that is unfortunately what we thought was going to happen has happened. We have had one of the worse firefighting perspective summers. It’s been beautiful for our picnics, but we had the worst of all possible worlds,” said Inslee.
Massive winds blowing the smoke in the area have been the biggest issue for fire crews.
“The wind holds the upper hand in any of these fire situations, and I’m concerned about that given the wind right now. But I'm pleased that we have very direct defensive measures around the structures and around the East Side of Lake Cle Elum,” says Inslee.
Inslee added that the community has been very strong through the process of firefighters battling the fire and appreciates people responding to the evacuation procedures.
“If we are going to save lives, which is the first priority in these incidents, it’s because of the professionalism of the pros, and the diligence and the responsiveness of the citizens,” says Inslee.