Passing Thunderstorms Ignite Fires on the Pomeroy Ranger District
US Department of Agriculture
PENDLETON, Ore. (July 7, 2021) – Fire crews on the Pomeroy Ranger District are responding to reports of smoke and fire following passing thunderstorms this morning. So far, six new incidents on the Umatilla National Forest have been reported to the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center.
Local initial attack resources have been busy responding to these incidents. Additional smoke reports are likely to be detected throughout the next few days as weather conditions continue to stay hot and dry.
The largest of these fires, the Lick Creek Fire, is estimated at 2,000 acres and located on the Pomeroy Ranger District approximately 15 miles southeast of Pomeroy, Washington. The fire was reported on July 7 at 8:18 a.m. and is burning in grass and timber. Winds and hot temperatures have contributed to increased fire behavior and growth, pushing the fire to the northeast, east and southeast. The movement of the fire has prompted the closure of Forest Service Roads 41 and 44 all the way to Asotin and the Asotin County Sheriff’s Office is evacuating individuals within the Asotin Creek drainage.
Initial attack efforts are being supported by helicopters as available. Additional resources are on order.
The Forest has ordered the Northwest Team 7 Type 2 Incident Management Team to manage the fire and will inbrief the team tomorrow afternoon. The health and safety of the public and wildland fire responders is top priority and mitigations are being taken regarding group sizes by dispersing resources through separate and smaller fire camps and conducting virtual meetings when possible.
Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist 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.