Search underway for missing Seattle firefighter near Yakima

A search crew with the Yakima and Kittitas county sheriff’s offices are looking for a missing Seattle firefighter near Yakima.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office told FOX 13 News that Jay Schreckengost, a Deputy Chief with the Seattle Fire Department, was hunting in a remote area of Kittitas-Cliffdell, near Yakima. 

On Tuesday morning, Schreckengost left from the Squaw Rock Resort to go day hunting and did not come back that night. 

The Yakima Sheriff's Office said his wife received a text from him letting her know he parked for the day and was heading out to go hunting. He hadn't contacted her since. 

According to deputies, his family came out to look for him and called the Yakima County Sheriff's Office. 

Officials said Schreckengost's car was located in the area early in the search, north of Highway 410.

As of Thursday morning, Search and Rescue coordinators are overseeing seven teams of ground searchers, four K9 search teams, and infrared-equipped drones from both counties. Dozens of volunteers from the Seattle Fire Department have been incorporated into the effort to locate their Deputy Chief.

The area is close to Yakima County but it is in Kittitas County. Agencies from both counties and Seattle Fire Department personnel are helping in the search efforts.

The Seattle Fire Department received the news Wednesday night that Schreckengost was reported missing.

"We are deeply saddened about this news and holding Jay and his family close in our hearts. We are hopeful for positive news that he will be found safe. A group of Seattle firefighters have travelled over to Eastern, WA today to assist local authorities in their search," said Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley. 

Deputies said Schreckengost has the proper clothing, food, water, rifle, backpack and maps. 

Anyone who has any information they believe could help locate Chief Schreckengost is asked to call Kittcom, the unified Kittitas County emergency dispatch center, at 509-925-8534.

This is a developing story, and will be updated. 


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