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Saturday, August 20, 2016

8/20/16 Olympic National Park Fires

Fire Information Office
Olympic National Park Fires 2016
Godkin, Hayes, Cox Valley and Ignar Creek

Another hot and dry day with active fire is expected Saturday.
The Red Flag warning was extended through Saturday evening. Saturdays forecast is for temperatures in the high 80’s to low 90’s, minimum relative humidity 19%, lighter winds from the southwest 3 to 8 mph. With these conditions fire managers are anticipating another active fire day.

Helicopters will continue to drop water on the Cox Valley fire as needed, to check the spread of the fire. Monitoring and patrolling along the trails in the vicinities of the other fires will continue, providing for public and firefighter safety.

Smoke generated from these fires was very visible around the Puget Sound Region Friday evening and Saturday morning. As the temperatures drop into the evening smoke will naturally settle into the lower valley bottoms surrounding the park. The lower Elwha valley including Lake Sutherland and Lake Crescent, Queets Valley, Morse Creek and the Deer Park areas and potentially the Sequim valley could experience an increase in smoke.

Friday’s activities
On the Cox Valley, fire helicopters dropped water on many hot spots along the perimeter cooling the fire sufficiently to keep the fire intensity low and preventing any spread toward Obstruction Point Road. This road will remain closed until fire managers determine it is safe to reopen.

The Hayes fire became very active in the afternoon and continued burning throughout the night. The southerly movement is approaching the Hayden Pass Trail resulting in closure of the trail from Dose Meadows to the junction with the Elwha River Trail effective Saturday morning. Fire managers estimated growth of between 200-300 acres.

The Godkin fire also was very active in the afternoon moving in both northerly and southerly directions with an estimated growth of 35 acres. Smoke from the Ignar Creek fire reappeared Friday afternoon. Aerial monitoring detected minimal growth.

An Infrared flight (IR), was ordered for Friday night. New maps were produced for the Cox Valley and Godkin fires, unfortunately technical difficulties prevented new maps for the Hayes fire.

An engine assisted with response to a new fire start in the Joyce area at the request of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The initial attack was successful and the engine returned in the afternoon to continue support of the Cox Valley Fire.

Below is a summary of the fires.  All four fires were started by lightning on July 21, 2016.
Fire Name
Cox Valley
Ignar Creek
Initial Report
Estimated size 8/20/2016
137 acres from IR
Approx. 350 to 450 acres
55 acres from  IR
Approx. ½ acre
25 miles south of Port Angeles along the Elwha River
20 miles south of Port Angeles on a ridgeline between the Lost River and Hayes River
Approximately 12 miles south of Port Angeles, near PJ Lake north of Obstruction Point Ridge
Approximately 22 miles northeast of Lake Quinault  

Photos  maps, and previous updates are available online.
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