Local firefighters join effort to contain Taylor Bridge Fire

August 16, 2012

By Caleb Heeringa

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent a tender truck crew east to assist fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire. Contributed by Eastside Fire & Rescue

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Local firefighters made the trip across the Cascades to fight the Taylor Bridge Fire, which scorched more than 22,000 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg in recent days.

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent at least five local firefighters to the blaze. EFR is a party to a statewide agreement to send resources in the event of a major wildfire.

Officials sent a Preston-based tender truck, used to carry water or flame retardant to remote areas, along with two career firefighters when the fire initially broke out Monday, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer wrote in an email.

Since then, two more EFR firefighters have been sent to assist crews on the front lines. Josie Williams, EFR public information officer, is also in the area and helping to dispense information about the fire.

The state intends to reimburse the agency for firefighters’ time and any overtime costs needed to fill the firefighters positions back home. EFR also receives rental fees from the state for the vehicles used fighting the fire. Backer said the event should end up being cost neutral for the agency.

Firefighters contained about 25 percent of the fire by Thursday morning.

Overall, more than 900 firefighters continue to attempt to get a handle on the blaze. The firefighting team aims to keep the blaze from jumping across Interstate 90 in the south or state Route 970 in the north.

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