Tag Archives: yakima

Wenatchee Complex Wildfire Update

Fire Update – September 17, 2012, 9:00 a.m. PT

“A public meeting was held last night in Wenatchee. Fire officials briefed more than 100 citizens on the status of the fire.  Yesterday, the First Creek Fire broke through the containment lines on Slide Peak. National Guard helicopters provided numerous water bucket drops in assistance to the Vale Hot Shot crew, who were then able to reestablish the line. The Guard helicopters also helped put out a spot fire nearby.  A combination of factors continue to challenge firefighters: heavy smoky conditions can keep aircraft on the ground, dangerous burning and or standing dead trees, called snags, can fall on firefighters, steep terrain, rolling logs and extremely dry vegetation all contribute to the. Fire fighting dangers.  Today, a high pressure system will move in from the coast and cause an inversion. This creates a “dome cap” which will hold smoke in the communities and valleys surrounding the fires. Light winds in the fire area will be terrain driven (3-6 mph). Temperatures in the valleys will be 70-80 degrees with relative humidities in the mid teens to twenty percent.  More than 300 firefighters have moved to a base camp at Entiat City Park, Entiat, WA. This move will reduce the drive times to fire lines on the First Creek, Byrd and Klone fires.  A swing shift, from 11 am to 11 pm, has been added to assist burn out operations and then hold and monitor the fire into the evening.  The Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass. Today firefighters will start mop up around structures in Number 2 Canyon on the southern flank. Fire line construction and mop up continue to the north of Horse Lake Mountain. Additional line construction will be completed on the west to tie the fire together to the Number 2 Canyon. The Canyon Fire is approximately 8,277 acres. No structures have been lost. This fire is 25% contained. Up-to-date information on evacuations can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.

The Byrd Canyon Fire, located just north of Entiat, Washington, is 13,960 acres in size. The fire, which is burning in grass and shrub land, is being patrolled and mopped up. High fire traffic and smoky conditions around this fire make this a hazardous driving area. This fire is 45% contained.

The Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest. It is 5,255 acres in size. A burnout operation, along Forest Service Road (FSR) 9712 south to Mission Peak, is scheduled for today. Crews will begin mop up after this occurs. An additional burnout is scheduled along the Peavine Canyon control line. This fire is 10% contained.

The Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine. It is approximately 3,478 acres. Hand and dozer lines were put in the area where the fire spotted near Canyon and Mission Roads to prevent the fire from moving into Tripp Canyon and west toward Camas Land. Crews on the southern end of the fire are preparing for a burnout operation. Along other perimeters crews will utilize the road and ridgelines for indirect fire line. Structures protection is in place. This fire is 10% contained.

The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is 1,200 acres. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Operations for today are to hold and improve lines and burn out where necessary. Scouting and construction of contingency lines and structure protection is also planned in First Creek and Granite Falls Creek.  A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is 10% contained.

The Pyramid (377 acres) and Klone Fires, (570 acres) north of Entiat are burning in timber that was severely impacted by disease and insects. Crews on the Klone fire will continue to work with local resource advisors to minimize impact on sensitive and/or threatened resources in the area. Firefighters are protecting thirty seven recreation cabins by clearing vegetation, wrapping fire protective material around the base of the cabins and installing sprinklers on or near the cabins. Fireline improvements along Entiat Road, County Road 19 will continue.

The Bassalt Fire, 70 acres: and Sears Fire, 40 acres, pose no immediate danger to structures.  The Cashmere Mountain Fire, (300 acres), is in an old fire-burned area. It does not pose a danger to structures at the present time.  Fires within the Yakima Complex, in Kittitas County south and west of the Wenatchee Complex, continue to actively burn, with evacuations on going. The Yakima Complex has been divided in two and is now being managed by two Washington State Incident Management Teams.  The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County. Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.  The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on federal lands. All outdoor burning, including campfires, is banned in all counties east of the Cascades through midnight, September 18. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of and conform to fire restrictions that are in place.

The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires. It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.”

View entire press release update here.

AMS Inspection Services is a home inspection company based out of Leavenworth, WA, with inspectors in Seattle, Wenatchee and throughout Chelan and Douglas counties.  AMS Inspection performs blower door tests for new construction projects.

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Closing Costs Calculator for the Washington Home Buyer

We perform home inspections in about 10 counties throughout Washington from Seattle to Wenatchee.  Occasionally our clients call to book an inspection and are still a little confused about the inspection cost– who pays it, how much it is, etc.  We did a little internet search and found a few closing cost calculators that may help the potential home buyer.  The calculator we are sharing seems to have the most descriptions of the costs, but will only give you a rough idea since the costs are only estimations.  For example, they estimate the cost of an inspection at $175, but our inspections start at $275…this is standard for a single family home.  Condos may be less.  Also, the appraisal fee usually starts around $300.  A loan application fee will be added to the credit report for a combined fee of $75-$300.  With all this in mind you can use the calculator to get an idea of the added costs associated with buying a home.  If you have a good agent to walk you through the buying process then you won’t be blindsided with these costs.  They can also help you negotiate fees that may be shared with the seller.

Closing Costs Calculator from Mortgage-Investments.com

Homeowner Tax Guide: Get All Your Deductions!

In a time where buyers are cautious and are really weighing out all the benefits of home ownership here are some considerations for tax season. Several tax deductions and credits are providing relief to homeowners and making them very proud of their investment decision. Deducting mortgage interest, home equity debt, capital gains on home sales and taking advantage of energy conservation credits are just a few of the tax season benefits that homeowners can cash in on. Do you have a home office? There’s another one. Most of our monthly home loan payment is interest and you can deduct every bit of it. Only those folks with a loan of $1,000,000+ receive a cap on this deduction.

Stephanie Singer, a Realtors.org contributor wrote about this topic in Tax Time Less Taxing for Home Owners. She said that, “ninety-one percent of homeowners who claim the mortgage interest deduction earn less than $200,000 a year, and the ability to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage can mean significant savings at tax time. For example, a family who bought a home in 2010 with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.”

We found a great resource from Kiplinger.com. They have listed all the deductions for homeowners at “What’s Deductible? – A to Z.” Check it out to make sure that you’re getting the most deductions as a homeowner. We use a skilled accountant in Wenatchee to guide us through our own tax deductions. We suggest that you hire a recommended accounting professional to point out these important opportunities for you.

Home Show in Wenatchee: Feb. 11-13th

Home Show Wenatchee Town Toyota CenterEvery year the NCHBA or North Central Home Builders Association produces a spectacular home show in Wenatchee, Washington.  There’s a little something for everyone whether you are interested in remodeling, decorating, building, buying or selling a home…they’ve got all the experts there for your questions!  Here’s some info from their website.  Download this COUPON for $1 off admission:

This year, we have a lot of new things going on and are very excited to “get the Show on the road”! The Kid’s Zone by Lowe’s is going to be fantastic this year. Not only will the kids be able to build their own project with a professional from Lowe’s, they can go on a scavenger hunt with their parents or enjoy FREE ice skating on Friday and Saturday. So, if you have kids that are 12 and under, make sure to take them to the Kids Zone by Lowe’s, located in the Crunch-Pak Hospitality Room on the the main floor of the Town Toyota Center!  Workshops and How-to’s that you WON’T want to miss! Come and see what the Master Gardeners have to demonstrate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the show!   Be one of the first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday and receive a special Home Show Entrance Bag! These bags will be filled with small gifts, specials and discount coupons from participating sponsors and vendors! These bags will also come in very handy when you need a place to stow away other information and items you gather!  There will be additional event parking available for attendees across the street at Walla Walla Point Park, both parking lots, as well as at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. Many thanks to Lowe’s for generously allowing our Home Show attendees to use half of their parking lot for our event!

Hot Water Heaters Expansion Tanks, what do they really do?

Thermal expansion of water in a closed plumbing system can create a number of annoying and potentially dangerous problems. These include: unusually high pressure in a system, pressure surges, and the chronic or continuous dripping of a temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve. In addition, dripping faucets and leaking toilet tank ball cock fill valves are also symptomatic of thermal expansion.   More serious problems can also occur due to thermal expansion. When dangerous pressures are built up in a water heater, internal parts may fail such as the internal flues, fittings or water connections. If a flue way collapses it can lead to the potential release of toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide into living spaces.

Virtually, every modern plumbing code requires the installation of an expansion tank on hot water heater installations. The reason is simple. Water expands when heated. This extra volume of water needs to go somewhere. Before the widespread usage of backflow preventers, check valves and pressure reducing valves, this expanded water simply pushed the cold water back into the city water main. Now with these devices required in new construction and most permitted remodels we have successfully closed this system.

Where does the pressure to go?

Expansion tanks are really simple devices. They contain compressed air and a special rubber bladder. When your hot water heater turns on, the water within your piping system begins to expand. This expanding water slowly enters the expansion tank as the water is brought to temperature. Eventually, hot water is drawn from the system thru a faucet and the expansion tank releases the extra water into the piping system.

The installation of an expansion tank is a simple upgrade for any hot water systems.  There are some things you need to know before running out and purchasing your unit such as existing water pressures, capacity of the hot water tank, and ensuring the unit you purchase is for potable water systems.   I always recommend working with a licensed plumbing contractor.

Unique Central Washington Resorts

Wenatchee Home Inspection

Resort at the Gorge

Can you think of anything better than 300 days of sunshine just a couple of hours drive from Seattle?  How about sitting waterfront with the beautiful night sky clear of any city lights, traffic or smog?  Here are a few places popping up in Central Washington that could become your major escape destination.  Bear Mountain Ranch in Lake Chelan boasts a premier golf course ranked by PGA Touring Professionals in the top 6 new resorts of America.  Bear Mountain has bare lots for your future dream home or custom “Bandera” homes constructed from 10 different floor plans up 3,800 square feet.  The Ranch plans call for an orchard, vineyard, equine center and inn with a spa.  The gated community overlooks the beautiful Lake Chelan and is just a few minutes drive from downtown.  Traveling east from Wenatchee The Resort At The Gorge is just getting underway and they’ve got big plans including: a RV park, a water park, bungalows and a 120-unit hotel.  Just minutes from the popular Gorge Amphitheater and eyeing the 300,000 patrons that it brings seasonally, the Resort At The Gorge should have no problem stirring up interest.  Suitably appointed cliff-side bungalows start at $189,000 for 1,000 square feet.  RV Park lots start at $75,000.  Other attractions include wineries, climbing, the Columbia River and 850 acres of beautiful canyon land. 

Yakima Home Inspection

Zillah Lakes

Finally, Zillah Lakes is located just south of Yakima in the heart of Washington wine country.  Developers started construction this month on the golf course at the center of this new residential community.  The Zillah Lakes plan includes homes and townhomes constructed along the man-made lakes, a tournament golf course, commercial spaces for a bistro, wine-tasting room, convenience store, coffee shop, bed & breakfast, boutique retailers and live-work office spaces.  The Town Center may also include a preschool, motel and brewery.  It appears that Central Washington has a lot to offer the weekend traveler.  Sunshine, wine and waterfront seem to be the common attractions.  Maybe I’ll get lucky soon…I’d love to add golf clubs or a wakeboard to my home inspection tool bag. Give me a call to inspect these properties so I can make a memorable weekend out of it!

Chelan Home Inspection

Bear Mountain Ranch