Large wildfire near Pomeroy was unfamiliar territory for firefighters

POMEROY, WA - A lightening strike is the suspected cause of a large wildfire near Pomeroy.

KLEW news learns how the lack of light caused some confusion as to how firefighters battled the Hastings Hill wildfire.

When the National Weather Service calls for a Red Flag Warning, there's a very good reason for that. Though Garfield County is just south of the area under the warning... Due to the combination of heat, low humidity and winds, a wildfire torched 1,200 acres of land near Pomeroy Thursday morning.

Garfield Fire District Number One Chief Kris Darby said they initially had five different calls of fires in the Central Ferry area, but it turned out to be a one large wildfire that was in unfamiliar territory."

"We didn't know how the land lays so we had to wait until daylight and by then we were well over 1,000 acres," said Darby.

Due to the terrain of the fire and the size, Whitman and Columbia Counties came with additional trucks. The fire damaged a substantial amount of private land and Conservation Reserve Program land.

"Standing grain as well as CRP," said Darby.

However, the blaze stopped right before the Washington State University Garfield County Cooperative Extension. The fire is contained, but firefighting personnel will have trucks monitoring the perimeter, due to the high winds and heat."

Chief Darby said they couldn't have put the fire out without the help of their mutual aid partners, and all the water trucks from local privately owned companies and farmers that assisted.