Wildfire reaches Kittitas County wind farm

Fire officials say the Colockum Tarps Fire has now burned 70,000 acres of grass, sagebrush and timber in Kittitas and Chelan counties.

The fire, which is 25% contained, has burned to the north end of the Wild Horse Wind Farm, about 17 miles east of Ellensburg overlooking the Columbia River. The blaze originated south of Wenatchee.

Yesterday, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office ordered residents of about 75 scattered homes and cabins to evacuate.  Evacuations will remain in place for the next 24 hours for the upper Parke Creek, upper Colockum and Secret Canyon areas.

The Red Cross emergency shelter remains open at the Mercer Creek Church, 1407 North B Street in Ellensburg.

The fire danger is expected to remain high in Eastern Washington today amid the threat of erratic winds and lightning strikes from thunderstorms.

A public meeting will be held tonight at 6 PM at Central Washington University's Student Union Recreation Center, Ballroom B & C, second floor, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg.