Update on Meacham Complex fire

August 24 – Mike Almas’ Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) began managing the Meacham Complex on Friday, August 21, 2020. The Meacham Complex of fires includes the Hager Ridge Fire, Horse Fire, 896 (Horseshoe Ridge) Fire, and other smaller fires located approximately twenty five miles east/southeast of Pendleton, Oregon. In addition to those fires, Mike Almas’ IMT assumed command of the Rattlesnake Fire Monday, August 24 and will manage it as part of the Meacham Complex.

Multiple agencies are coordinating on Meacham Complex fire suppression, including United States Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Bureau of Indian Affairs, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, local volunteer fire departments, and various aerial resources. The majority of the Meacham Complex fires are staffed, most are small, and many are contained or now in patrol status. At present, the larger or more active fires in the Meacham Complex are the Horse Fire, the Hager Ridge Fire, the 896 Fire, and the Rattlesnake Fire. All of these fires are burning in rugged terrain, in a variety of fuels.

Monday, firefighters further reinforced containment lines and continued mop up on many of the fires in the Meacham Complex. Crews working on the Hager Fire have secure containment line around much of the fire’s perimeter and have held that fire to approximately 57 acres. Hand crews and air resources continued to cool hot spots in heavy fuels along the Horse Fire’s southeast flank. Firefighters have rough containment line around much of the Horse Fire’s perimeter and are working inward from those lines, mopping up hotspots to further secure containment. The Horse Fire is currently estimated at 169 acres. Firefighters working on the 896 (Horseshoe Ridge) Fire have constructed handline around much of the fire; however, in order to help secure containment lines where direct line construction was not possible, they conducted a small burnout operation along the fire’s southern/southeastern perimeter. As the 896 Fire backed downhill towards the Union Pacific Railroad line, crews patrolled that fire edge for hazards to the suppression activities and the rail lines. The 896 Fire is currently estimated at about 40 acres.

Tuesday, hand crews on the Hager Ridge, Horse, and 896 fires will continue to work on strengthening containment lines and mop- up, working inward from the fire perimeter to cool hotspots. In some areas, efforts to fall dangerous snags (dead trees) will continue before crews can progress further with mop-up. Air resources (including one incident-assigned helicopter, as well as other helicopters borrowed from other areas, and, if needed, single engine air tankers- SEATs) will continue to support firefighters on the ground by dropping water to cool hotspots and reduce fire spread, or, if needed, by applying retardant to inhibit fire spread.logos

The Rattlesnake Fire is burning on the Pomeroy Ranger District in Washington, approximately twenty miles south of Pomeroy and thirteen miles southeast of Dayton. Due to the distance of the Rattlesnake Fire from the other Meacham Complex fires, some IMT members will be working out of the Dayton, Washington area. Additionally, more detailed information, specific to the Rattlesnake Fire available on a separate Inciweb page and daily update. Please follow the link below for more information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7069/).

Resources Threatened: One structure is currently threatened by the Horse Fire, and falling or rolling debris around the 896 Fire continues to be a concern along the Union Pacific Railroad line in that vicinity. Additionally, many of the fires pose potential threats to significant cultural and natural resources, and fire managers are actively working with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) to protect these resources.

Evacuations and Closures: Currently there are no evacuations or area closures in place; however, a portion of FSR3128 is closed due to safety concerns. Please follow posts on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7038/ for the latest updates.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: A RED FLAG warning remains in effect today around the fire area, related to the potential for thunderstorms, lightning, and the potential for gusty, outflow winds.