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Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/19/2015 Meeks Table Fire Update

Burning out successful and complete; mop up and patrol underway

     Nile, Wash. – Yesterday’s 165-acre increase in the size of the Meeks Table Fire was due to a successful burn out operation implemented on the northwest flank of the fire.  Bringing the fire out of a steep draw to a prepared road and hand line increased the overall size footprint of the fire, but enables firefighters to work more safely and secure the northwest portion of the fire more effectively.  The successful burnout means the entire west, north and east sides of the fire have been confined by firelines.

Today firefighters will be engaged in heavy mop up: using hand tools and water to completely extinguish a distance within the perimeter that will be adequate to ensure the fire cannot cross the containment lines.

We expect warmer weather, with temperatures in the 70s, relative humidity in the 40’s, and winds 6 to 10 mph today.  This will cause additional consumption of the burning fuels within the fire’s interior and enable the crews to identify remaining hot spots near the containment lines more effectively.  Where winds align with topography, the fire could burn more actively, so firefighters will be attentive to wind speed and direction today.

Where safely accessible, fire crews are suppressing small spot fires between steep cliffs and Rattlesnake Creek on the south edge of the fire.

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) remain closed.  Only firefighters and law enforcement officers are allowed to use these roads at this time.

Recreationists who left their camps and equipment when instructed to evacuate from the Fire vicinity last weekend have the option to be escorted back into the fire area between 10 am and 4 pm to retrieve their belongings.  The affected people can contact Fire Information 509 658-1002 for more detail or simply go to the access point nearest the campsite:
·         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);
·         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. This is a limited plan for safe, orderly access.  It does not enable extensive travel away from roads to obtain widely dispersed items.

Campfire restrictions on the Naches Ranger District have not changed

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