Greg Mackey, 509-653-2390
Rachel Blomker, 360-701-3101
YAKIMA – A wildfire that started July 23 in southwestern Kittitas County has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to temporary close about 5,000 acres of the Rock Creek Unit of the Oak Creek Wildlife Area near Naches to protect firefighters and help ensure public safety.
Wildlife Area Manager Greg Mackey said access to the southwestern portion of the Rock Creek Unit will be restricted until approximately Aug. 26, while firefighters work to contain the fire which is still actively spreading in the area.
US Forest Service Road 1702 (Rock Creek Road) is closed, and other roads may close depending on fire behavior.
The estimated size of the Left Hand Fire was 500 acres as of July 26, and is burning in very steep and rugged terrain with poor access. A combination of high winds, low humidity, and high temperatures may increase fire spread and intensity. The wildfire was caused by lightning.
WDFW manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 600 water access sites across the state that provide fish and wildlife habitat, as well as fishing, hunting, wildlife-viewing, and other outdoor activities for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors every year.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.