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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

8/23/16 Olympic National Park Fires

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

Eight-Mile Section of Elwha River Trail Closed
Park officials and fire managers closed an approximately eight-mile section of the Elwha River Trail at 3:30pm Monday afternoon, to provide for public safety in the vicinity of two wilderness fires.  The trail is now closed from the Hayes River Ranger Station south to Chicago Camp. The trail remains open from Hayes River north to the Whiskey Bend Trailhead and from Chicago Camp south.  Wilderness permit holders for that area were notified of the closure and provided information about alternative routes.
Fire crews successfully confined four spot fires north of the main Godkin Fire. They used minimum impact tactics, including a combination of directed water drops by helicopter, water delivery via pumps and hoses, and appropriate fireline construction.
The Hayes Fire had moderate fire activity Monday, and is gradually moving southeast along the ridge. Fire monitoring of Cox Valley Fire and Ignar Creek Fire both reported very little smoke.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect over the fire areas due to increased use of helicopters for water and supply delivery.  If drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) are ever observed near firefighting operations, our aircraft are not allowed to fly.  Drone launching in national parks is illegal.
In addition to the section of the Elwha River Trail, Obstruction Point Road and the Hayden Pass Trail from Dose Meadows to the Elwha River Trail remain closed for safety reasons.
Today, an incoming fire module (a small crew) will be transported to the wilderness fires, and personnel who have been in the wilderness for 5 days will rotate out. Tuesday is forecast to be cooler with light winds; only light to moderate fire activity is expected.  A warming and drying trend starts Wednesday.  Low relative humidities, warm temperatures, and increased winds are predicted for Thursday through Saturday.
Smoke from the wilderness fires settles into some of the surrounding valleys at night and lifts during the day. Adults over 65 years old, infants, and children may be particularly sensitive. People with smoke sensitivities who live in affected areas can protect themselves by staying indoors, keeping windows and doors closed, and indoor air as clean as possible. Detailed information on air quality and health impacts is available at  
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 8/21/2016
181 acres from IR
718 acres from IR
56 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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