Colockum Tarps Fire now at 72,000 acres

WENATCHEE, WA --- The Colockum Tarps Fire has burned 72,000 acres and is 25 percent contained.  535 firefighters are now working on the fire lines.  One area of focus on Thursday is the Southwest section of the wildfire, which is now stretching into the Parke Creek area.

75 Structures are still threatened, dozens of which are homes.  Around 70 people have been evacuated.  A state of emergency has been declared in Kittitas County.  The sheriffs office has completed a level three evacuation notifications in areas that include Upper Park Creek, Secret Canyon and Caribou Canyon.  Those areas remain closed.  In Cooke Canyon, the evacuation level has been downgraded from level three to two.

Weather is still very much a factor in the growth of this fire.  Dry conditions and gusting winds are helping to fuel the flames.  Firefighters continue to cut fire lines in efforts to contain the blaze.

A shelter has been established for evacuees at the Mercer Creek Church located at 1407 North B Street in Ellensburg.