Lick Creek Fire (Dry Gulch Fire) – Monday: 55,055 acres, 20% contained

Briefing planned for 7 pm Tuesday at Pomeroy High School

ASOTIN, Wash. — A wildfire located between Walla Walla, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho has a new name and has scorched tens of thousands of acres in Asotin and Garfield counties.

Authorities announced Monday afternoon that the name of the incident has changed: what was once called the “Dry Gulch Fire” is now known as the “Lick Creek Fire.”

Lightning ignited several fires southwest of Asotin on July 7. The Lick Creek Fire and the Dry Gulch Fire burned together on July 8 and are now being fought as one fire.

The fire grew another 8,700 acres on Sunday. An update posted to InciWeb, an online interagency incident information management system, outlined Monday’s plan of attack:

Firefighters are patrolling and mopping up along containment lines on the north and northeast flanks. As fire behavior and weather allow, crews are burning out to consume fuels along FS Road 42 near Iron Springs Road, working toward Clearwater lookout. This strengthens the containment lines. In anticipation of increasing westerly winds later in the week which may push the fire eastward, firefighters are scouting to locate alternate fire lines along the eastern flank of the fire.

Northwest Incident Management Team 7 took over operations on Monday morning. Crews face critically low humidity, high temperatures, and ridgetop wind gusts to 15 mph from the northwest.

TRACK THE SMOKE: Washington Smoke Blog updates

A Level 3 evacuation has been issued for the Harlow Ridge area – Cloverland Rd. south of Brisley Rd.

A Red Cross Evacuation Shelter is open at Echo Hills Church in Lewiston: (509) 508-1299.

PDF (CLEAR IMAGE): Lick Creek Fire Map

All Forest Service lands, roads, and trails within the Pomeroy Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest are closed because of the fire.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the W.T. Wooten Unit of the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area, the 4-0 Ranch and Grouse Flats units of the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area, and the Asotin Creek and Weatherly units of the Asotin Creek Wildlife Area for public safety due to the fire as well as to give firefighters space to respond.

“While these closures may be inconvenient to some, we feel it is the safest and most responsible action we can take to keep members of the public and first responders safe,” said Steve Pozzanghera, WDFW’s Eastern Region Director. “Other public lands agencies are also closing areas to the public and we support their efforts to fight this fire and make safety a top concern.”

A public fire briefing is planned for 7 pm Tuesday at Pomeroy High School.

FIRE COVERAGE – MONDAY UPDATES

Burbank Fire near Selah, north of Yakima: Controlled burns, closures, and “get set” evacs

Varden Fire, Delancy Fire, Cedar Fire: Update from Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest