Ryegrass Coulee fire near Vantage now fully contained - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ryegrass Coulee fire near Vantage now fully contained

Posted: Updated:
VANTAGE, Wash. -

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UPDATE: July 12, 11 a.m.

Firefighters say the Ryegrass Coulee fire burning near Vantage is now 100 percent contained, days after the blaze first broke out late Monday night. The fire burned a total of 1,612 acres. It destroyed one outbuilding and damaged a barn, but no homes were lost. All evacuation orders for the town of Vantage were lifted around 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

UPDATE: July 11, 2018 5 p.m.

Fire officials say the Ryegrass Coulee fire is 80 percent and all evacuation orders for Vantage are expected to be lifted at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters expect to have the fire fully contained by Thursday.

Huntzinger Road and Wanapum Recreation Area re-opened at noon Wednesday. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

UPDATE: July 11, 2018 7:46am

The Ryegrass Coulee Fire is estimated to be just over 1600 acres in size and crews say they expect to have it 80% contained by the end of Wednesday. 

Huntzinger Road is still closed, except to residents, while crews work on the fire. 

Level 1 evacuations remain in place, which means residents should be aware.

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 5 pm:

Fire crews continue to work to get a large wildfire burning near Vantage under control on Tuesday evening. Fire officials say the Ryegrass Coulee fire is 1,000 acres in size and is 20 percent contained. 

Level 2 evacuation orders remain in place for the town of Vantage, meaning those in the area should be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 12:10 pm:

Fire officials told KHQ just after noon on Tuesday that Interstate 90 has reopened in both directions near Vantage on Tuesday. The Kittitas County Sheriff also reports that the town of Vantage has been downgraded to Level 2 evacuations from Level 3 evacuation orders overnight. Level 2 evacuations mean people can return to their homes but should be ready to leave again as conditions change.

Randy Shepard, Public Information Officer for the Ryegrass Coulee Fire, says the fire is holding at 1,000 acres as of Tuesday afternoon. At last report the fire was 0% contained, but crews continue to fight the fire from the air and ground to try to get the fire under control.

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 10:30 am

The Washington Department of Transportation tweeted Tuesday morning that they anticipate both directions of Interstate 90 closed near Vantage due to a wildfire in the area will be reopened around noon.

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 8:00 am

Authorities say the Ryegrass Coulee fire is 0% contained and 1000 acres in size. 

In a press briefing Tuesday morning, officials said winds are fueling the flames and the town of Vantage remains under a Level 3 evacuation. Crews are hoping to get an air attack going on the fire soon. Officials also added that one small structure has been lost so far. 

I-90 remains closed in both directions and there is no estimated time for reopening. Officials say more than 400 guardrail posts have burned due to the fire. 

Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes, including US97 over Blewett Pass through Wenatchee and US12 over White Pass.

A Red Cross shelter is open at the George Community Hall, 403 W. Montmorency Blvd. in George, WA.

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 7:35 am

Grant County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Kyle Foreman says westbound lanes of I-90 are still closed. Traffic, however, is moving because authorities are turning cars around. 

UPDATE: July 10, 2018 7:27 am

The fire burning near Vantage is estimated to be 1000 acres and Level 3 evacuations remain in place for the town of Vantage. 

KHQ's Grace Chapin, who is on scene, reports that I-90 westbound has been reopened. Eastbound lanes are still closed. There is no estimated time for reopening, but stay tuned for the latest. 

Previous Coverage: 

I-90 is shut down in both directions and the town of Vantage is under a Level 3 evacuation order due to a wildfire burning in Kittitas County. 

Mobilization has been approved for what is being called the Ryegrass Coulee Fire. At this time, officials say the fire is about 300 acres in size. It is unknown if any structures have been lost, but residents of the town of Vantage have been asked to leave immediately. 

Eastbound lanes of I-90 are closed at exit 115, east of Ellensburg, and westbound lanes are closed at the Vantage Bridge. No detour has been set up via local roads and the estimated time for reopening has not yet been determined. 

KHQ has a crew headed to the scene. Stay tuned to KHQ.com, our Facebook page, and The Wake Up Show for the very latest. 

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