Samantha Bakke/The Enterprise
A fire camp is set up north of White Salmon housing crews on-scene for the Dry Creek Fire.
As of Tuesday, July 18, 2017
WHITE SALMON Cooler, less windy conditions have given crews a chance to get a handle on the new Dry Creek Fire.
Officials said Monday that the blaze only grew by 50 acres in 24 hours.
Most of the 400-acre fire is located west of State Highway 141, with minimal spotting east of the rural highway in Klickitat County.
The break in the weather came as officials issued a red flag warning for much of Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon for Monday.
The warning area included Bickleton, Mabton, Prosser, Grandview, Sunnyside, Granger, Zillah and the area north to Vernita Bridge, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Wind gusts of about 35 mph were expected last night during the critical fire weather.
Meanwhile in Klickitat County, fire crews were busy yesterday securing fire lines and mopping up hot spots.
“Hot and dry conditions will continue through the next few days, though temperatures are expected to be cooler and less windy,” a statement from Northwest Incident Management Team 6 Commander Shawn Sheldon said.
According to Sheldon, steep ground and heavy timber in the Dry Creek Fire are hampering some firefighting efforts.
“Firefighter, public and aviation safety is the fire team’s No. 1 priority,” he said.
Because of fire activity, state Highway 141 is closed between BZ Corner and Warner Road; traffic is being detoured through Glenwood to Trout Lake.
Level 1 evacuation notices have been issued for about 100 homes in the fire area, Klickitat County Emergency Management reported.
Meanwhile, another new fire is affecting traffic along Interstate 90 near Vantage.
The fire is burning in dry grass and sage near Milepost 136, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday.
Smoke from the fire prompted the closure of the interstate from Kittitas to George on Sunday. The interstate reopened completely by 11 p.m.