Two days ago started off as just another hot summer day-and then we noticed Monday evening, that the air was turning acrid-the telltale sign that a fire was burning nearby. It’s not an unusual occurrence. Ellensburg is close to many acres of national forest, and also home to numerous hay storage facilities. Both fire hazards in the summer.
We soon learned the details. Monday afternoon, road crews working on a bridge between Ellensburg and the city of Cle Elum created sparks, causing a small brush fire to break out-a fire that quickly grew and is now burning over 28,000 acres. Dubbed the Taylor Bridge Wildfire, it has, so far, destroyed more than 70 houses, killed hundreds of horses and cattle-and necessitated countless others to be turned loose in an attempt to help them survive the fire, and forced another 900 people to evacuate their homes-many of whom are desperately working to save their homes.
With no rain in the forecast, temperatures that are expected to stay in the 80’s and 90’s and wind that can gust to more than 35miles per hour, there is no end in sight. There will be a lot more devastation before the fire is out.
(Photos courtesy of the Ellensburg Daily Record)
The need for help is great, from providing food, clothing and household goods to those residents who have lost everything, to supplying food for the countless animals-large and small-being sheltered in various places in town. Stuart, Amy and I will be donating items such as bottled water and dog food, and I’ll be donating 20% of my August and September Etsy sales to the local Red Cross.
And to the firefighters, who have an impossibly difficult and dangerous task ahead of them, we can never thank them enough.