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Oct. 7, 2022

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Cow Canyon Fire at 60% containment, with Vantage Highway Fire at 90%

Favorable weather conditions allow crews to make progress


YAKIMA — Tuesday’s weather gave firefighters working the Cow Canyon Fire a break.

With no storms or strong winds affecting the fire, crews were able to push farther inside the 5,832-acre fire area to mop up hot spots, according to a report released Wednesday morning by the Northwest Incident Management Team 12, which is overseeing both Cow Canyon and Vantage Highway fires.

The fire started Aug. 3 in the Barbecue Flats area of the Wenas and has been burning between Naches and Ellensburg.

Firefighters are anticipating full containment on Monday. As of Wednesday morning, the fire was at 60 percent containment.

With a possibility of thunderstorms Thursday, fire crews are continuing to mop up hot spots and patrol the containment lines for possible flare-ups. Crews are also working on mapping and repairing fire breaks carved by bulldozers, as well as removing trees that were weakened by the fire.

With the reduced fire activity, personnel have been transferred to the Mohr Fire burning in Douglas County, the report said.

There are 262 personnel, nine hand crews, 10 engines, four bulldozers, five water tenders and a helicopter assigned to the fire.

Level 1 (be ready) evacuation notices remain in place, along with road closures on North Wenas Road at Maloy Road, Maloy and Audubon roads in Yakima County, and Cove Road south of Manastash Road and Umptanum Road south of Shushuskin Ridge in Kittitas County.

Two homes, one cabin and 11 outbuildings were destroyed on Aug. 3.

Manastash Road has reopened, the report said, but the Wenas Wildlife Area, Umptanum Falls and Manastash Ridge Trail remain closed.

Vantage Highway Fire

Firefighters continued fire suppression work around the Vantage Highway Fire, which has burned 30,659 acres since Aug. 1.

As of Wednesday, the fire remained at 90 percent containment.

Crews are continuing the patrol the containment lines looking for flare-ups due to winds from passing storm, as well as repairing damage to the area from firefighting efforts.

There are 126 personnel, one hand crew, five engines and a bulldozer assigned to the fire.

The Quilomene and Whiskey Dick wildlife units in the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area remain closed.

The causes of both fires are under investigation.

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