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Friday, August 19, 2016

8/19/16 Olympic National Park Fires Update

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

Fire growth is expected on Friday and Saturday on the fires in the Olympic National Park wilderness
A Red Flag Warning is in effect until midnight Friday. Friday’s forecast is for temperatures in the high 80’s, relative humidity 15% to 20%, and northeast to easts winds 6 to 12 mph, with a moderate level of atmospheric instability.  These conditions indicate of the potential for rapid fire growth, especially in the afternoon to late evening.

Water drops by helicopters may be strategically directed on the Cox Valley Fire to help confine the fire to the north of Obstruction Point Road.  Fire crews in the wilderness are closely monitoring the Godkin Fire and will share fire status information with hikers along the North Fork Quinault River trail.

Fire activity increased Thursday
The Cox Valley Fire grew Thursday afternoon as temperatures climbed and relative humidity dropped sharply.  The combination of weather conditions and steep slopes contributed to an estimated 40-45 acres fire growth by early evening.  The increased smoke and fire activity prompted the closure of Obstruction Point Road.  A fire crew remained on site overnight to escort out anyone who returned to their vehicles after the closure.

The fire crew monitoring the remote fires reported moderate activity and smoke from the Hayes Fire with an estimated growth of 8 acres. Early Friday morning, they reported active burning all night, with no new estimate of growth. A Thursday afternoon flight reported the Godkin Fire actively burning in the southern corner again, and crews estimate it grew 10-12 acres.  An evening flight to monitor the Ignar Creek Fire found no visible smoke.

Drone sighting grounds helicopter operations

In the late afternoon, fire managers began using water drops to limit spread of the Cox Valley Fire.  Two loads of water were dropped before managers received a report of a drone flying in the area.  Aviation safety requires that wildland fire air operations shut down immediately if drones are observed in the area.  Drone launching is illegal within national parks, and drones are prohibited near wildfires.  It puts firefighters at extreme risk.

Fire Name

GodkinHayesCox ValleyIgnar Creek
Initial Report7.25.20167.26.20167.28.20167.29.2016
Estimated size 8/18/2016Approx. 102 acres Approx. 158 acresApprox. 55 acresApprox. ½ acre
Location25 miles south of Port Angeles along the Elwha River20 miles south of Port Angeles on a ridgeline between the Lost River and Hayes RiverApproximately 12 miles south of Port Angeles, near PJ Lake north of Obstruction Point RoadApproximately 22 miles northeast of Lake Quin

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