205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Kittitas County, WA -
Resources have been added to the search for the Seattle Fire Department's Deputy Chief Jay Schreckengost in the hills north of State Route 410.
Today, Friday 11/5, marks the fourth day since Seattle Fire Department Deputy Chief Jay Schreckengost notified his family he was hiking from his pickup to scout for Elk in the Cliffdell area of Kittitias County, several miles north of State Route 410. His pickup was located on Wednesday and has become the center of Search and Rescue efforts underway to find the Chief including numerous agencies and around a hundred people on the ground.
Chief Schreckengost's family and friends report that he is an experienced hunter and outdoorsman and would have appropriate survival gear with him. The terrain he was hunting is extremely rugged and challenging for searchers. There is little or no cell signal and communications are difficult. It was also snowing on Friday morning at the operations base for the search, which is at about 5,000 feet of elevation.
Search teams are being coordinated by Kittitas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators in cooperation with a State SAR planning team and volunteers from Yakima, King, Snohomish, Pierce, Chelan and Klickitat counties. Friends and family of the Chief are with search coordinators, providing insight into his known habits and hunting patterns. The Seattle Fire Department also has a Deputy Chief on scene as liaison, and dozens of SFD firefighters have joined trained SAR volunteers in the search.
Air Force personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma are standing by with Chinook helicopters awaiting openings in the weather to permit them to join the search from the air. K9 search teams and IR-equipped drones continue to be part of the effort. Coordinators are laying plans to continue the search into and through the weekend if the Chief isn't found today.
We are grateful to everyone participating in the search effort and everyone holding the Chief and his family in their thoughts. Anyone with information they believe may help locate Chief Schreckengost is encouraged to call Kittitas County's dispatch center, Kittcom, at 509-925-8534. Additional untrained volunteers are not needed at this time, but anyone who wants to be trained and equipped to help in this type of crisis is encouraged to contact their local Search and Rescue organization. Search coordinators asked that those not involved in the organized search remain clear of the area to permit ground teams and other resources to work efficiently.
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.