Public Service Announcement


8-5-13 1600 HOURS – PSA - Colockum Tarps Fire

Kittitas County, WA - 08/05/2013 - The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office has lowered evacuation levels in some areas affected by the Colockum Tarps Fire:

  • The Wild Horse Wind Farm has been reduced to Level 2 from Vantage Highway to the Renewable Energy Visitor Center.  Beacon Ridge Road remains closed north of the Visitor Center.
  • Parke Creek Road south of the Little Parke Creek junction is also now a Level 2.
  • Cooke Canyon is now at a Level 1 advisory, as are residences on the north side of Vantage Highway east of the Operating Engineers’ Training Facility to the wind farm boundary. 
  • The western shoreline of the Columbia River from the northern Kittitas County line south to Skookumchuck Creek and Scammon Landing are now at Level 1 advisory.  The area is closed to the public.

The evacuation levels have not been changed in some areas.  Level 3 Evacuations remain in place for the upper Parke Creek, upper Colockum and Secret Canyon areas, including Hilltop, Sheep Creek, Trail Creek and Tucker Creek.

Fire crews continue to connect and reinforce a challenging two-mile section of fire containment line in steep terrain from the Caribou Road to Powerline Road and Brewton Road across the forested canyons of Stray Creek, Tekison Creek and Little Brushy Creek. The fire danger is still significant until a solid perimeter is established.

Residents can expect to see firefighting equipment and personnel in the vicinity of the fire as the incident management team stages equipment and personnel in strategic locations for efficient access to address changing needs.  Several crews work the night shift when conditions are more favorable for firefighting efforts or to complete a specific project that extends beyond a single day’s shift. 

Please continue to be aware of the potential for firefighting vehicle traffic, equipment and personnel working and maneuvering along narrow roads.

The Emergency Operations Center would like to thank the public for their continuous support and patience during this fire.  The EOC continues to work closely with the fire management team to determine when it will be safe for residents to return home.  There have been no reported injuries or major structure losses in Kittitas County.   Please contact the EOC if you have an urgent need to access your home.  Officials will attempt to resolve that problem if safety considerations permit. 

The Red Cross emergency shelter remains open at the Mercer Creek Church, 1407 N. B Street, Ellensburg, for any evacuated residents.

Residents affected by the fire can contact the EOC with questions or concerns, at 509-933-8305, or visit the county website for updates and evacuation maps at  For fire information, please visit, or contact the Colockum Tarps Fire at 509-662-9984.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Jill Beedle, PIO