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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

9/16/2015 Meeks Table Fire Update



Burn out operations help secure line on north side of fire        

     Nile, Wash. – Yesterday’s partly sunny weather was warming enough and the fuels were dry enough to enable a successful burn out operation across the northeast perimeter of the 1,024-acre Meeks Table fire.  Although it added slightly to the size of a fire’s footprint, the controlled underburning connected and secured the fire containment line south of several minor forest roads.  Those areas will begin mop up today.

Incident containment is now 15%.

Firefighters are expected to continue making good progress to contain the Meeks Table fire in cool, mostly cloudy weather today.  Humidity will remain above 40% with a chance of rain showers in the afternoon.  Light winds (4-8 mph) will be from the northwest in the morning and from the southeast in the afternoon.  The fire will consume material within its interior, but will stay on the ground and is not expected to spread.

Mop-up is also underway on the west side of the fire.  Hoses have been laid to provide water for extinguishing remaining heat sources along that perimeter.  Line construction and improvement continues along the north and east flanks of the fire.  The south edge of the fire above Rattlesnake Creek is being monitored and patrolled to ensure that if any burning material falls or rolls from the steep hillside it is quickly confined and put out. 

Approximately 360 firefighters are currently working on the fire lines, incident command post at the Chinook Work Center, and Jefferson helibase.  People who attended a Community Meeting last night in Nile expressed their appreciation for the assistance to protect their homes and local resources. “You may see the vehicles heading to or returning from the firelines each day and the helicopters overhead, but we intend to take care of this job in the next 4 or 5 days and slip away unnoticed,” Incident Commander Trainee Pat Halford told them. 

To protect firefighter and public safety, the Forest Road 1600 system and the Forest Road 1500 system from the eastern Forest boundary to Bethel Ridge (Cash Prairie, Road 199) are closed.  Only firefighters and law enforcement officers are allowed to use these roads at this time.

Although the air seems moist, forest fuels are still dry.  All forest visitors are encouraged to be careful and to follow all continuing campfire prohibitions and fire precautions.

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