Horsethief Butte Fire At 50 Percent Containment; Residents Allowed Back In Homes

Klickitat County Emergency Management says the Horsethief Butte Fire in south central Klickitat County is now considered 50 percent contained, and has burned 8,000 acres.  Nearly 300 people who were forced from their homes Sunday evening by the fast-growing wildfire have been allowed to return to their homes, with the evacuation advisory reduced to Level 1.  Highway 14 through the fire area was reopened this morning, but for firefighter safety the public is asked to use alternate travel routes between Highways 197 and 97.  No homes have been lost, but an undetermined number of outbuildings have been lost or damaged.  This morning the Southeast Washington Management Team took command of the fire and is working with resources from the state Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service, and local fire districts to contain the fire.  The plan for today is to establish control lines, conduct mop-up activities and provide an accurate fire perimeter to determine the jurisdictions that are affected by the fire.  Strong, gusty winds and dry ground conditions led to extreme fire growth Sunday afternoon.  The fire started at 12:10 p.m. Sunday.  DNR fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.  The Red Cross shelter at My Father’s House Church at 207 S Klickitat St in Goldendale is still open to provide services and information.

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