Wildfire near Cle Elum grows, causes evacuations, closures

Screen shot from Kittitas County map of the Jolly Mountain Fire area

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- All Forest Service lands in the upper Cle Elum Valley are closed and evacuations are in place due to the Jolly Mountain Fire north of Cle Elum, according to a news release.

The fire, which is located 11 miles northwest of Cle Elum in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, has grown to more than 4,600 acres since Aug. 11.

According to the release, additional firefighter resources responded to the area Sunday and dropped nearly 85,000 gallons of water on the fire.

Officials reported that fire activity increased Sunday because of higher temperatures and lower humidity.

Because the Jolly Mountain Fire is on steep terrain, officials said, the fire is posing challenges to firefighters.

Level two evaucations have been issued in the Morgan Creek, Bell Creek and Timber Ridge communities along Cle Elum Lake, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office.

All homes on Anna Bell Drive, Bell View Drive and west of Salmon La Sac Road from Anna Bell Drive north to Forest Road 4330 are also under a level two evacuation.

A level two evacuation notifies residents to prepare to leave their homes at a moment's notice.

The land closures include all roads, trails and campgrounds north of the Last Resort Restaurant located on state Route 903. According to the news release, the Nature Conservancy has closed all TNC-managed lands on Cle Elum Ridge.

Washington Department of Natural Resources has closed lands north of the West Fork and west of North Fork of the Teanaway River.

There is currently a campfire ban on the Cle Elum Ranger District because of high fire danger.

According to the news release, a weather system approaching the area mid-week will bring some relief.

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