Goat Rocks Fire Handed Over to Special Incident Command Team Saturday Night


The Goat Rocks Fire burning west of Yakima near U.S. Highway 12 in Gifford Pinchot National Forest was handed over to a Type 3 incident command team Saturday night.

Evacuation notices, road closures and flight restrictions over the area remain in place. Information and a map of road closures can be viewed online.

So far, the lightning-caused fire has blackened 4,108 acres since touching off Aug. 9 and continues to grow about 100 to 150 acres a day, according to an update from the U.S. Forest Service. But the daily growth of the fire doesn't mean it's increasing its overall footprint. The fire is moving to unburned areas within its interior, meaning its closing in on itself, the update said.

The fire is spreading through "thick duff" that's causing continued smoke in the area.

Level 1 evacuations — plan and consider packing to leave — remain in place for areas northeast of Butter Creek and north of U.S. 12, including Lower Timberline and Goat Rocks. Level 2 evacuations — be packed and ready to leave — remain in place in the Upper Timberline.

Crews continue to hold all control lines and engine patrol continues day and night throughout the communities closest to the fire and along U.S. 12, the update said. An additional helicopter arrived Saturday as aerial attack continues, the update said.

There are three crews totaling 219 personnel, five helicopters, eight engines, one dozer and four water tenders battling the blaze.