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Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/17/2015 Meeks Table Update

Direct line where possible; indirect line where necessary; mop-up underway

     Nile, Wash. – Work continues to contain and mop-up the 1,024-acre Meeks Table fire burning about 5 miles west of the community of Nile. The fire size has not grown in several days. Light showers fell on the fire area last night, but fuel beneath tree canopies remains dry and interior burning will continue with creeping, smoldering and occasional tree torching.

Incident containment is now 20%.

Today firefighters will continue mopping up across the west, north and east sides of the fire.  Some areas have secured a 200-foot perimeter.  Other areas are prepared for additional burn out operations to tie roads, hand lines and natural barriers together more effectively.  On the east side of the fire, line construction today will extend toward anchor points in rocky bluffs. 

Mostly cloudy weather is expected to continue today.  Winds will be stronger than recently experienced with gusts from the west up to 20 mph this afternoon. 

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.

The Naches Ranger District is implementing a plan to allow recreationists who left their camps and equipment when instructed to evacuate from the Fire vicinity to retrieve their belongings.  A limited number of US Forest Service employees will be on site at specific road blocks to escort members of the public to and from roadside camp sites between 10 am and 4 pm daily for rapid retrieval of personal belongings. The points of access are:
·         the 1500 Road (Bethel Ridge Rd) at the 199 junction for access to camps on the 1500 road system (T14N, R14E, section 7);
·         the 1600 Road (Clover Springs Rd) at the 1601 junction for access to camps up the 1600 road past that point (T16N, R15E, section 30); and
·         the 1600 Road (Clover Springs Rd) at the 1706 junction for access to camps down to and including access into the 1605 Road (T16N, R14E, Section 6). 
Access will not be available from the 1500 Road (Bethel Ridge) at the eastern forest boundary near Nile. Contact the Naches Ranger District 509 653-1468 for more detail.  This plan will be executed in an orderly and safe manner.

Campfire restrictions on the Naches Ranger District have not changed. 

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