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Monday, August 22, 2016

8/22/16 Olympic National Park Fires

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

A weather pattern shift on Sunday changed fire activity.
Both the Hayes and Godkin wilderness fires within the Olympic National Park experienced moderate growth Sunday. Sunday evening, gusty winds blew embers from the Godkin Fire onto vegetation on a river bar of the Elwha River. Monitoring crews located a small patch of fire away from the main fire. The spot fire was estimated at 30 by 30 feet, and is approximately a quarter-mile south of Wilder Camp. Fire managers quickly reassessed the situation and determined the potential threat to resources of value called for a change in strategy on this fire. Crews who found the spot were directed to take suppression actions due to the new threat to park structures. Their work successfully limited the spread overnight, and Monday morning a helicopter will deliver a pump and hoses so they can fully suppress the small spot.
Fire managers observed the Hayes Fire spreading primarily south and east. Crews monitoring this fire reported approximately 3 miles of Hayden Pass Trail have been impacted by fire. There are no park structures threatened by the Hayes Fire.  
There was very little smoke observed from the Cox Valley Fire on Sunday, and the Ignar Creek Fire is still approximately half an acre. Neither of these fires grew Sunday.
Obstruction Point Road and the Hayden Pass Trail from Dose Meadows to the Elwha River Trail remain closed due to safety concerns.
Planned actions:
Fire managers were already using the cooler weather as an opportunity to prepare for the next wave of warm weather forecast for later this week; the spot fire across the Elwha confirms that direction. Equipment and materials are in place to initiate protection for remote park infrastructure such as shelters, wooden footbridges, and trail signs.  Additional resources have been ordered to assist with managing the fires. Fisheries biologists will begin surveying pools in the Elwha River today.  Their work will identify the best pools firefighters can draw water from, to minimize potential impacts to fish in the river.
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 8/21/2016
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

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