WHEREAS, a severe wind storm spread a home chimney fire into an uncontained wildfire on February 12, 2011, destroying 20 homes, displacing approximately 120 people and leaving over 75 of them homeless, distributing smoke across a wide area, causing evacuation of nearby residents, interrupting provision of public utilities, limiting access to public facilities, and causing extensive wind, fire and smoke damage to homes, businesses, public utilities, public facilities, and infrastructure in Yakima County and within the Reservation of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation); and,
The Yakama Nation declared an emergency for the wind storm and fire and multiple jurisdictions responded to the incident; and,
The estimated cost to repair damage to homes, businesses, utilities, facilities and infrastructure is currently being determined but is significant. Yakama Nation officials and local jurisdictions are continuing to assess damage caused by the wildfire, address emergency conditions for provision of public utilities and those left homeless, and coordinate resources to repair and replace public utilities and alleviate the immediate and long term impacts upon the infrastructure, public safety, and the life and health of Yakama Nation members and other citizens; and,
The wildfire damage and its effects continue to impact the life and health of Yakama Nation members and other citizens, as well as the property and infrastructure of Washington State. It is a public disaster that affects life, health, property and the public peace; and,
The Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division increased activities to support the incident, implemented response procedures, and coordinated resources to support tribal and local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and is continuing to assess the magnitude of the event.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above-noted situation and under Chapters 38.52 and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in Yakima County in the state of Washington, and direct the plans and procedures in the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist the Yakama Nation and affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event.
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington this 23rd day of March, A.D, Two Thousand and Eleven at Olympia, Washington.
|Christine O. Gregoire
BY THE GOVERNOR:
[Assistant] Secretary of State