11:00 AM Update: DNR Public Information Officer Steve Hartsell says that mop-up on the Speelyai Fire is continuing today, with seven hand crews, five engines, five water tenders and one excavator currently on the line. He says today’s objective is to strengthen the fire line, and they’ll also work to make sure that the area within 200 feet of the control line is “dead out.” He says that if all goes as planned, they’ll start releasing teams on Friday, with most of the equipment planned for release on Saturday. There’s still a reminder in effect that you’ll need to be careful about fire equipment moving around this area. Incident Commander Kent Stanford says that they’d like to thank the Cougar community and the Woodland School District for their patience, understanding and support during this effort.
Mop-up work is now under way on the Speelyai Fire near Lake Merwin. Department of Natural Resources Public Information Office Steve Hartsell reported yesterday that the fire was 95 percent contained at 8 am, and they were confident of having full containment by late in the afternoon. They currently have the fire mapped at 110 acres, with 180 firefighters on the line yesterday. Incident Commander Jim Shank had praise for the crews that were using explosive cord to cut fire lines around the blaze, saying that those crews were able cut 2,100 feet of line on Monday, working in steep and rocky terrain. Hartsell says that work on the fire is almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, because of all of the hard work done over the past three days. Portable water tanks are now being set up, and crews will now use fire hoses to complete the mop-up portion of the job. Those crews will seek out and extinguish al of the smoldering fuel around the perimeter of the fire. Be aware that water tenders and fire trucks will still be crossing over SR 503 for the next few days, and Forest Roads 6600 and A-1000 remain closed until the fire is completely out.