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Olympic National Park fires still slowly burning

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Aug. 23, 2010 at 9:46 am |
August 23, 2010 9:48 am

There has been little new fire activity as the Hopper fire continues burning on the east side of Olympic National Park. The fire is still creeping through downed logs and avalanche chutes on the east and west flanks of Mount Hopper. It has burned 385 acres since it was ignited by lightning Aug. 5. It is still considered just 15 percent contained.

The nine-person fuels crew monitoring the fire since Aug. 18 are expected to start hiking out Tuesday. Park fire officials will continue to monitor the Hopper fire by air.

The Hopper fire is located at the headwaters of the Crazy Creek Drainage and Skokomish River in the Olympic Wilderness, approximately 11 miles north of the Staircase area.

To maintain visitor safety, the following trails remain closed: the Skokomish River trail from Nine Stream to the Duckabush/Home-Sweet-Home junction, the Scout Lake way trail to St. Peter’s Gate at Mount Stone, the Hagen Lake way trail and the Mount Hopper way trail.

Elsewhere in the park, the White fire in the Quinault Valley continues to smolder and has burned 1/8 of an acre since it was discovered during an Aug. 17 overflight. A Friday overflight revealed very little smoke and no additional spreading. The White fire is located in Douglas fir forest, approximately two miles north of the Enchanted Valley Chalet.

Since the fires present no immediate risk to life, safety or property, park fire officials are allowing thes fire to play its natural role in the environment. An overflight is planned for early this week.

A fire reported Sunday afternoon at Boulder Creek Falls had burned itself out by the time two park firefighters arrived on-scene.

Firefighters received reports of another abandoned campground fire this afternoon at Campsite 4 on the Sol Duc River. Fire officials remind park visitors to be sure their campfires are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended, as fires can continue to smolder into deep duff layer and spread laterally.

The public can call 360-565-2975 for recorded information about the Hopper fire. Updates, maps and photos of the Hopper Fire are available online at InciWeb.

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