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Firefighters getting closer to containing Conrad Fire

Firefighters from several area agencies respond to a brush fire that started near Conrad Road in Selah, Wash. around 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Shawn Gust / Yakima Herald-Republic)
Firefighters from several area agencies respond to a brush fire that started near Conrad Road in Selah, Wash. around 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Shawn Gust / Yakima Herald-Republic)
By Donald W. Meyers Yakima Herald-Republic

Firefighters made significant progress containing a wildfire that has been burning in the Wenas Valley since Sunday afternoon.

While the Conrad Fire is officially at 19-percent containment, fire lines are in place around the perimeter, said incident management team spokesman Randy Shepard.

For full containment, Shepard said firefighters have to create a 100-foot-wide fire break around the perimeter of the fire. Crews were also establishing 300-foot fire breaks around structures within the fire area, Shepard said.

Fire crews were also able to keep the fire from spreading into the area where the Wenas Fire burned last year and is now overgrown with highly flammable cheat grass, Shepard said.

Winds are forecast to be in the 5-6 mph range today, according to the National Weather Service.

About 180 firefighters are on the scene, down from Tuesday, Shepard said. Fire managers are expecting to turn the fire back over to local authorities within the next two days.

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