Umatilla National Forest suffers multiple fires across thousands of acres due to thunderstorms

Umatilla National Forest

PENDLETON, Ore. — Thousands of acres of land have been damaged as fires caused by passing thunderstorms broke out across the Umatilla National Forest on Wednesday morning. Officials say that the largest of the group, the Lick Creek Fire roughly 15 miles southeast of Pomeroy, Washington, has burned approximately 2,000 acres already.

All information in this article was provided in a news release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service and Blue Mountain fire officials. Fire crews and first responders from the Pomeroy Ranger District are receiving calls about smoke across the region. They expect the smoke to persist in the region over several days due to high temperatures and dry conditions.

The Lick Creek Fire in Southeast Washington was reported around 8:18 a.m. on July 7 and has mostly burned grass and timber. Winds have pushed the fire to the northeast, east, and southeast, making it difficult to contain for responding fire crews.

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As a result, Forest Service Roads 41 and 44 are closed through Asotin with community members being evacuated through the Asotin Creek drainage.

Northwest Team 7 Type 2 Incident Management Team is working to contain the fire through tomorrow afternoon. Fire danger remains high in the region with homes being evacuated and natural vegetation being consumed by flames.

Further information will be announced tomorrow as crews continue to work through the night to contain the spread of flames throughout the Umatilla National Forest and the surrounding region.

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