Fire officials say Central Washington communities are always at risk for wildfires, but they doubt a blaze as deadly and destructive as the Camp fire in California could happen the same way here.
“Do we have some of the same conditions here in Ellensburg? Yes. But we don’t have the exact same conditions,” said John Sinclair, chief of Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue. “Could a fire start? Absolutely. But so long as we have the ability to get to it quickly and engage the fire, we’re not going to see a situation like the one in Paradise.” The chief is referring to Paradise, California, which was consumed by the Camp fire, an inferno being blamed for at least 71 deaths and the destruction of more than 9,000 structures. It’s the deadliest fire in the state’s history.
Ellensburg and Selah were high on a list of communities most at risk for wildfire devastation in Washington.