Fire crews mobilize for Rattlesnake Hills Fire

— State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of firefighters working to contain the Rattlesnake Hills Fire located in Yakima County.

The fire is the second in the region this week amidst red flag warnings. Another red flag warning has been issued for 2-9 p.m. today.

This means the National weather service is expecting winds to increase to as much as 20 mph, with gusts reaching 30 mph. Humidity is 10-20 percent, making it easier for existing fires to spread and additional fires to erupt.

The Rattlesnake fire is burning in grass and brush. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources at 9:15 a.m. yesterday at the request of Chief Keith Shrank, Yakima County Fire District 4.

The fire started Wednesday, at about 10:48 p.m. and the cause is currently under investigation.

The fire is estimated at 5,000 acres and growing. The fire is threatening homes, crops and communications infrastructure. Level 1 evacuation notifications are in effect for approximately 30 homes.

Air quality throughout the Yakima Basin is also reduced as a result of smoke in the air.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered 3 wildland strike teams, air resources and a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray has been activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Spartan Fire. State Fire Marshal personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident.

The plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.

More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at: www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm.



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