The Jolly Mountain Fire was started by lightening on August 11, 2017 approximately 10 miles north of the communities of Ronald, Roslyn and Cle Elum. The fire burned on federal lands in rough terrain and through areas of significant insect damage in the Teanaway River watershed for several days before expanding rapidly into state and private lands and into the Cle Elum River watershed. As of September 18, 2017, the fire has burned more than 36,000 acres of forestland. No structures have been damaged or lost.
During the course of this event, hundreds of firefighters from all across the region were mobilized to protect our communities. Nearly 1,000 homes were evacuated in areas along the West Fork, Middle Fork and North Fork of the Teanaway River and along the east side of Lake Cle Elum.
Wildfire Induced Flooding and Erosion Potential
A significant concern on any wildfire is the potential for flooding or erosion in the weeks, months and even years after the event. Local partners and stakeholders have already begun meeting and discussing the risk for this burn area and for the unburned but downslope/downstream areas. While the risk is being assessed, the following resources may be helpful to impacted private landowners:
Stay informed before and during any potential flood event
Follow the National Weather Service as they provide information on the potential for rainstorms or snowmelt to cause flooding in the area. They have a three-tier warning system to alert citizens of the threat posed by developing weather systems:
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Conditions are favorable for flooding but flooding is not definite.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
- You can monitor weather stations and stream flow gauges yourself at the following sites:
- Sasse Ridge SnoTel (operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)
- Teanaway River at the Forks Flow Monitoring Station (operated by the US Bureau of Reclamation)
- Teanaway River at Red Bridge Road Flow Monitoring Station (operated by the Department of Ecology)