Umatilla National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
72510 Coyote Road
Pendleton, OR 97801
Fire Information Line: 458-206-6192
Incident Commander: Mike Almas, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Meacham Complex InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7038/
Rattlesnake Fire Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7069/
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.
The Rattlesnake Fire is burning on the Pomeroy Ranger District in Washington, approximately twenty miles south of Pomeroy. Due to the distance between the Rattlesnake Fire and other Meacham Complex fires, the fires near Pendleton will be referred to as part of the southern branch of the Meacham Complex and the Rattlesnake Fire will be referred to as the northern branch of the Meacham Complex. Detailed updates, specific to Rattlesnake Fire, are available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7069/).
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. Many of the smaller fires within the southern branch of the Meacham Complex are contained and in patrol status or have been declared out. At present, the more active fires in the Meacham Complex are the Horse Fire, Hager Ridge Fire, 896 (Horseshoe Ridge) Fire, and the Rattlesnake Fire.
Tuesday, firefighters further reinforced containment lines and continued mop up on many of the fires in the Meacham Complex southern branch, as fires there did not grow. Although there was no fire growth on the Hager Ridge Fire (still estimated at 57 acres), the fire is still smoldering and creeping in heavy fuels within the fire perimeter. Firefighters working on Hager Ridge Fire have completed containment line around the entire fire perimeter and mopped up hot spots approximately 100 feet in from the perimeter edge. The Horse Fire is still estimated at 169 acres. Hand crews working on the Horse Fire have rough containment line around most of the fire and have focused their efforts to mop up hot spots within the heavy fuels and timber along the fire’s northern and southeastern edges. No fire growth occurred on the 896 (Horseshoe Ridge) Fire either; however, in order for firefighters to more safely perform mop-up in heavy fuels, special crews had to perform some hazard tree falling (snagging) around the fire’s perimeter. Crews continued to patrol the southeastern fire edge for hazards to the suppression activities and the rail lines. The 896 Fire is still estimated at about 40 acres.
Wednesday, 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 perimeters to cool hotspots. In some areas, containment lines are so secure that crews will begin rehabilitating the suppression lines. 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. Other crews will also continue to patrol small fires already contained (including the Huron fire).
Resources Threatened: If any of the fires escape containment lines, several resources could be threatened, including one structure near the Horse Fire, the Union Pacific Railroad line near the 896 Fire, and significant cultural and natural resources.
Evacuations and Closures: Currently there are no evacuations or area closures in place for the southern branch of the Meacham Complex; 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 closure and restriction updates.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Today’s weather is expected to moderate, with high temperatures in 70s to 80s, as well as generally good humidity recovery except along ridges, where conditions are currently drier. Winds will predominantly be terrain-driven.