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Sunday, September 20, 2015

9/20/2015 Meeks Table Fire Update

Breezy conditions will increase interior burning; mop up proceeds; road closures being reduced

     Nile, Wash. – Conditions are expected to become increasingly breezy today as a cold front moves across the Meeks Table Fire area in mid-afternoon and evening.  West winds 5-7 mph in the morning could become 12-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph after 3 pm.  Higher than predicted winds could develop where narrow canyons align or winds become focused. 

This has the potential to increase fire activity. Crews who are mopping up and improving containment lines will be on alert to threats and the fire is not expected to escape. 

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.

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) have been closed.  Only firefighters and law enforcement officers have been allowed to use these roads.

Because the threat of the fire spreading and the volume of fire fighter traffic have decreased, the road closures in the vicinity of the Meeks Table Fire will be reduced as of 11:59 pm tonight.  The immediate vicinity of the fire and roads that access it remain closed:
  • Forest Road (FR)1601 and all forest roads and motorized use trails connecting to it from the junction of the 232 spur road to the terminus of the 1601 are closed.
  • FR1500 at the east Forest Boundary to the junction of FR1503 and to the terminus of FR1502, including all forest spur roads connecting to the 1500 and 1502 between these points are closed. 
The remainder of the FR1600 and FR 1500 systems will reopen. 

Campfire restrictions on the Naches Ranger District have not changed.

Tomorrow, the fire management will transfer to a Naches Ranger District Type IV management team working under Incident Commander Jason Emhoff.  Approximately 100 firefighters will continue to mop up, patrol and repair any damage caused by the suppression effort.

Meeks Table Fire Information will continue to be available from the Naches Ranger District 509 653-1401.  The fire situation is expected to remain stable, without significant changes.

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