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. Currently, many of the smaller fires within the southern branch of the Meacham Complex are contained and in patrol status or have been declared out.
Unless significant changes occur, this will be the last update for the Meacham Complex southern branch. Fire acreage totals within the southern branch fires remain the same: Hager Ridge- 57 acres; Horse- 169 acres; 896 (Horseshoe Ridge)- 40 acres.
Firefighters continued to strengthen containment lines, grid for hot spots, and perform mop-up, working inward from the fire perimeters on the Horse Fire and the 896 (Horseshoe Ridge) Fire. In areas where containment lines are secured and no longer a risk, crews continued implementing some suppression repair, such as constructing water bars along constructed fireline (to help reduce erosion potential). In addition to work on those fires listed above, other crews and resources patrolled the remaining unstaffed, contained fires and were pre-positioned in the event of new fire starts in the area. The Huron Fire has been declared “out”, and all remaining fires in the southern branch of the Meacham Complex are 100% contained.
Fire managers have repositioned many crews from the southern branch of the Meacham Complex to the remaining active, uncontained fire within the Meacham Complex- the Rattlesnake Fire (northern branch). Several of the contained fires within the Meacham Complex southern branch will be unstaffed and patrolled or continue to have limited staffing. However, firefighters will continue to grid for and mop up hots spots in the Horse and 896 fires, where heavy fuels continue to smolder near containment lines. Containment lines could be tested Saturday due to the forecasted gusty winds, so crews will be especially vigilant, watching for possible spot fires or new fire starts. In addition, crews will also continue working on suppression repair activities, as well as patrolling unstaffed fires and remaining ready for initial attack if a new fire were to start in the area.
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 for the southern branch of the Meacham Complex. Additionally, there is no longer a closure on the FSR3128, as fire traffic is reduced and the fires in that area are less active. However, we ask forest users to continue to yield to fire traffic and use caution in the area. Thank you. Please continue to check for up-to-date closure information at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7038/.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Friday’s weather is expected to be warm/dry, with primarily terrain-influenced winds. Saturday, 8/29, very gusty winds could move into the fire area, with sustained winds of 15-20 mph and gusts of 25-30 mph possible. By Sunday or Monday, cooler temperatures and higher humidity may move into the area.