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Hot weather, low air quality expected while fires rage in Eastern Washington, North Idaho

UPDATED: Fri., July 9, 2021

Fires caused evacuations and low air quality as they continued to grow in Eastern Washington and North Idaho on Friday.

The National Weather Service issued an air quality warning on Friday for Lewiston, saying the air was unhealthy for all groups. The weather service also placed a red flag warning for the region east of the Cascade Mountains due to hot and dry weather expected this weekend.

As of Wednesday, the Washington state Department of Natural Resources said it responded to 630 fires in the state, with more than 1,300 acres burned.

In 24 hours, North Idaho saw 23 new fires and 167.5 acres of land burned, according to the Idaho Bureau of Land Management. As of Friday morning, 558 active incidents were reported in the area.

Here is the most current information available on the fires in the region as of deadline .

Dry Gulch/Silcott fires (Asotin Complex)

Merging fires caused poor air quality and evacuations for those living on Asotin Creek Road near Clarkston.

The Dry Gulch Fire grew to 24,730 acres, or 38.6 square miles, and was 5% contained as of Friday afternoon.

The fire moved west and burned for at least 24 hours, according to officials during a Facebook live forum.

A few miles west of Asotin, crews contained about 80% of the Silcott Fire, which grew to 8,633 acres as of Friday evening. Officials said the Silcott should not pose any more concern.

However, officials said during a Facebook live event residents should expect the dry, hot and smoky weather to continue for several days.

Andrus Fire

Crews had contained 80% of a fire near Cheney that started Monday morning. As of Friday evening, the fire held at 232 acres.

Friday was the last night shift that firefighters were on the fire line, according to the Northeast Region Department of Natural Resources.

Batterman Road Fire

Crews fully contained a fire that started in Wenatchee and held steady at 14,000 acres as of Friday evening.

Around 250 firefighters worked the fire.

Pine Creek

Evacuation orders for around 30 homes remained in place as crews in North Idaho battled a fire that started west of Pine Creek Road and east of Heimgartner Road near the town of Lenore in Nez Perce County.

As of Friday morning, the fire had grown to 400 acres and was 0% contained, according to a news release from the Idaho Department of Lands. It started Wednesday afternoon.

Graham Ridge Fire

Several fires that started north of Kellogg on Wednesday merged and grew to more than 20 acres as of Friday afternoon, according to a Facebook post from the Idaho Department of Lands.

The fires are located on Graham Mountain up the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene River outside of Kingston.

Just north of these fires are the 55-acre Deceitful Fire and 37-acre Cinnabar Fire. The Prichard Fire is also burning northeast of Eagle and grew to 43 acres on Friday afternoon.

These fires were likely caused by dry lightning strikes that contribute to fire risk, according to the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

Mission Flats Fire

This fire was contained at 102 acres as of Friday evening, and officials reopened the nearby boat ramp at Cataldo Mission on Friday.

The Idaho Department of Lands urged caution for drivers traveling east on Interstate 90.

Butte Creek Fire

Near the Thompson Creek drainage, a fire grew to about 600 acres as of Friday evening, according to the Idaho Department of Lands.

The blaze did not threaten any structures as of Friday evening, the lands department said.

Snake River Complex fires

About 30 miles south of Lewiston, the Captain John Creek Fire, Shovel Fire and Hoover Ridge Fire merged and created a complex spanning 20,000 acres as of Friday evening, the Idaho Department of Lands said.

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