Governor Chris Gregoire, who is expected to declare a state emergency, which would open up the opportunity of calling in the National Guard to help with the firefighting effort, issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
“All Washingtonians stand with those who have lost their homes and property in the Taylor Bridge Fire. The destruction overnight is a stark reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly wildfire can move.
The Department of Natural Resources and other agencies have engaged quickly and are working in tough conditions to evacuate families and make containment a top priority. We are closely monitoring the fire and are in frequent contact with the Department of Natural Resources on any additional assistance they may need.
I have directed the Washington State Patrol and the Emergency Management Department to continue to make this a priority. Additionally, the Department of Corrections has more than 140 inmates on the fire line.
With hot and dry conditions across the state, and temperatures expected to remain high, I ask all Washingtonians to obey burn bans and be mindful of safety precautions.
I thank the firefighters for their hard work and the community of Cle Elum for stepping up to help neighbors in need.”