YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — A large wildfire burning in Yakima County isn’t expected to be fully contained until October.
The Schneider Springs Fire was caused by lightning on Aug. 3 and started about 18 miles northwest of Naches, Washington. It burned an estimated 71,907 acres by Wednesday, according to InciWeb. The fire is burning in grass, timber, brush and is 3% contained.
The following evacuation orders were in effect as of Wednesday, August 25:
Level 3 (Go Now): Bumping River Road from north to south.
Level 2 (Get Ready): Highway 410 from Bumping River Road to U.S. Route 12.
Level 1 (Be Ready): U.S. 12 at Highway 410 west to Tieton Reservoir Road.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the Oak Creek Wildlife Area between Highway 410 and Highway 12 until further notice due to the wildfire.
A Red Cross shelter is in place at Summit View Church of Christ, located at 100 North 72nd Avenue in Yakima. Residents fleeing the fire can seek assistance with housing and other services there.
There is a temporary forest closure order for National Forest lands in the region, with additional closures pending. Click here to view an interactive emergency closures map from the U.S. Forest Service.
The U.S. Forest Service urged everyone in the area to be mindful of the air quality as lingering smoke is producing unhealthy conditions for Yakima and Naches.
Fire restrictions were expanded in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest on August 20 to include recreational shooting “due to prolonged, extreme fire conditions.” Discharging firearms is prohibited on all lands, roads, and trails in the national forest, with the exception of residents “with a valid hunting license who are engaged in legal pursuit of game.” Campfires are also prohibited forest-wide, including in developed campgrounds.
Roughly 530 personnel are fighting the fire, including 12 crews, 38 engines, six dozers, nine air resources, and 17 other pieces of heavy equipment. The Northwest Team 2 Type 1 Incident Management Team took command of the fire Sunday morning.
Air assets are helping to assess fire growth and conducting water drops to help minimize the growth of the fire so crews can continue defensive operations.
The Schnieder Springs Fire is already one of the hundreds of large wildfires the state has seen this year.
Amid extreme drought across most of the region, Washington has already had more large fires by mid-August of this year than it had all of last year.
According to InciWeb, crews don’t expect to have the Schneider Springs Fire fully contained until Oct. 1.