PENDLETON, Ore. (July 8, 2021 – 12 p.m.) — Forest officials have implemented an area and road closure surrounding numerous new fires on the Pomeroy Ranger District for public and firefighter safety. Firefighters continue battling new starts following passing thunderstorms over the Pomeroy Ranger District on Wednesday, July 7.
The closure is effective immediately and includes portions of Forest Service Road (FSR) 41, FSR 43 and FSR 44 and all trails within the closure area. A detailed map and description of the closure area is available on the Forest website and at any Forest office. Closure barriers and signs will be posted on the ground.
The Lick Creek Fire is now estimated to have burned 2,600 acres on National Forest lands, but has merged with the Dry Gulch Fire, which started on lands protected by Washington Department of Natural Resources. The fire was reported on July 7 and is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Pomeroy, Washington, burning in grass and timber. Winds and hot temperatures contributed to active fire behavior and growth yesterday, pushing the fire rapidly to the northeast, east and southeast. The movement of the fire prompted officials to close FSR 41 and FSR 44 and evacuate individuals within the Asotin Creek drainage. A local Washington Type 3 team took command of the fire last night, along with two additional fires outside of National Forest lands. Today firefighters will focus on establishing access points to the fire and securing an anchor point where firefighters can build containment lines. Resources on scene include three interagency hotshot crews, three additional 20-person crews, dozers, multiple engines and water tenders. Additional firefighting resources are arriving today. The Forest will inbrief the Northwest Team 7 Type 2 Incident Management Team today at 3 p.m. with plans for the team to take command of the Lick Creek and Dry Gulch Fires tomorrow. An incident command post will be set up at the Asotin County Fairgrounds. Today’s update on the Dry Gulch Fire is available at https://www.facebook.com/sewaimt.
Firefighting crews were also challenged yesterday by the Green Ridge Fire, which is located approximately 30 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington near Green Ridge. The fire was reported on July 7 at 9:51 a.m. and is burning in steep terrain, primarily consisting of grass and shrubs. Late afternoon winds and hot temperatures caused the fire to spread rapidly. Values at risk include structures in the area. The fire is currently estimated to be 25 acres. Fire behavior is active today, including upslope runs and torching. Today firefighters will build line construction, where terrain and fuels allow for crews to safely engage, with support from two heavy air tankers. Current resources on scene include a handcrew with an Interagency Hotshot Crew arriving today. Additional resources are on order. The Forest has ordered the local Blue Mountain Type 3 Incident Management Team to manage this fire and will inbrief the team tonight at 7 p.m with plans for the team to take command of the fire tomorrow morning.
Additional smoke reports are likely to be detected throughout the next few days as weather conditions continue to stay hot and dry throughout the week.
Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at HIGH and public use restrictions involving chainsaw use, smoking and off-road travel are in effect.
For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact:
Umatilla National Forest:
Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.