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Warner Gulch Fire mop up southwest of Asotin

warner gulch fighters.jpg

The Warner Gulch Fire burning southwest of Asotin is nearly out, but crews will be staying in the area to keep watch.

Crews have made major progress over the past 24 hours. The Warner Gulch Fire is now at 75% containment, and full containment is expected by Sunday. Even though it’s under control, the fire danger remains for this entire area.

The fire started around 10:00a.m. Saturday and quickly grew to 756 acres. Containment is at five-percent, but the fire line is under almost complete control.

"Everything off the lines has been extinguished, and we'll continue to work further and further off the lines,” Ryan Nicholls said.

Fire crews are now in the mop up stage.

"They're out there looking for hot spots that are in proximity to the line and doing what they can to extinguish those hot spots,” Nicholls said.

Even though almost all the flames are out, the fire danger is still very real.

"There's always the potential with adverse conditions that something unexpected could happen,” explained Nicholls.

Winds are expected to blow through the canyons over the next few days, and it’s going to keep getting hotter and dryer. All those conditions can make firefighting challenging.

"The steep terrain is one of those items,” said Nicholls.

Fire crews say the probability of ignition is currently at 100%.

"That means the potential for spread from one of these embers is very high,” Nicholls said.

That’s why crews are staying on scene for likely, at least another week checking up on dangerous areas.

"It's really not out until someone goes on the ground and feels that it's out,” said Nicholls.

Agencies from across the state will likely leave by Wednesday, because this is one of many fires in the state that need a large response.

"Resources will start to decrease in numbers as we get a higher number of containment and less fire on the ground. We'll release resources out because there are plenty of other fires in the northwest we have to get folks off to as well,” Nicholls said.

Around 140 personnel responded to the Warner Gulch Fire at its peak, including a helicopter, and a fixed wing tanker.

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