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Sunday, August 21, 2016

8/21/16 Olympic National Park Fires

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

Lower temperatures are expected Sunday which should result in reduced fire behavior for all four fires currently burning within Olympic National Park. Fire managers are taking advantage of cooler weather to prepare for the forecast return to hot and unstable conditions later this week. Fire personnel will continue monitoring and patrolling the trails in the vicinities of the fires today, providing for human safety. Smoke from the fires will likely be visible around the peninsula and Puget Sound Region, especially in the lower Elwha River valley and other low lying valleys surrounding the park.
Obstruction Point Road remains closed. Hayden Pass Trail also remains closed from Dose Meadows to the junction with the Elwha River Trail. These closures will remain in effect until fire managers determine the areas are safe to reopen.
Hot and dry conditions on Saturday resulted in elevated fire activity. The Hayes fire, which is largely burning through subalpine fir, spread southeast along the ridge above Hayden Pass Trail (Figure 1). Infrared (IR) mapping Saturday evening detected some spread of the fire on the northeast side of the ridge. The Godkin fire, active as well, spread slowly along the eastern flank, reaching the Elwha River. More smoke from Ignar Creek fire was visible Saturday, despite minimal fire growth. The Cox Valley fire, moderated by water drops Friday, displayed minimal activity Saturday. This fire remains visible from the heavily traveled Hurricane Ridge Road.
Fire is a natural and important part of the ecosystem within Olympic National Park. The lightning-caused Hayes, Godkin, and Ignar Creek fires are burning in remote wilderness areas of the park, characterized by steep and rugged terrain. The Cox Valley fire is less remote, and it is also in designated wilderness. Fire managers continue to monitor the status of each fire and take management actions as necessary to ensure public and firefighter safety. The goals are to keep people safe, protect park infrastructure, and allow these fires to play a natural ecological role on the landscape.
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
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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