Conrad Fire in Naches reaches over 5,000 acres, 20 percent contained
NACHES, Wash. - Firefighters say a wildfire between Naches and Selah has burned an estimated 5,200 acres.
Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized state firefighting resources Sunday at 7 p.m. to help local firefighters battling the Conrad Fire burning at the Wenas Valley. State mobilization was authorized when flames had reached 1,500 acres.
Naches Wenas Road at Clemans Road and at the Old Naches Hwy is currently closed due to fire danger, according to an update from the Southeast Washington Incident Management Team.
Flames were spreading near homes, crops, infrastructure and power lines. Firefighters say people can safely return to their homes Monday after Washington Emergency Management said 50 to 75 homes in the area were evacuated due to the rapidly spreading fire. Incident Management PIO Ben Shearer says people living nearby should stay on alert as the fire could flare back up.
"If you are going to be around your home, now is the time to take a look," Shearer said. "If you have leaves piled up in your gutters, if you have weeds blowing up against your house, now is the time to get out there, get that stuff cleaned away. If you've got irrigation systems, watering system, start watering around the house."
Shearer says no homes were damaged in the fire.
Officials said the blaze grew quickly due to windy, dry weather conditions. The National Weather Service out of Pendleton has issued a Red Flag Warning in Eastern Washington and the Southern Columbia Basin until 11 p.m. Monday. The warning means conditions could contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Fire crews have worked overnight Sunday attacking the fire and digging containment lines. The Department of Natural Resources reports fire is now 20 percent contained after it started burning Sunday at 2:24 p.m.
According to a report, 250 personnel, 61 engines and four aircraft are now working to attack the fire.
Fire crews say flames are burning heavy brush and timber in the area. Shearer says the area is also home to an elk reserve area, and flames are burning in the area of farm lands, houses and orchards.
The cause of this fire has not been determined and is under investigation.
Fire officials want to remind people that the fire danger is listed as high or very high throughout the state. Maintaining lawns and removing dry brush can help prevent fires over the Fourth of July holiday.
The latest information on the Conrad Fire can be found at the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.