OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The Mount Lena Fire west of Brinnon that was sparked by lightning Aug. 16 is still active, reconnaissance flights showed this weekend.
The half-acre fire is located in extremely steep, inaccessible terrain about a half-mile east of Lena Lake in the southeast portion of Olympic National Forest, according to a press release from the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest.
The Mount Lena Fire was one of several small fires started a series of lightning strikes on the Olympic Peninsula. The use of rappelers and helicopter water drops during the initial attack were unsuccessful in containing the fire, the agencies said in the press release.
The Mount Lena Fire is the only one from the lightning event that is still showing signs of active burning.
The reconnaissance flights conducted by Olympic Interagency Fire Management were made on Friday and Saturday.
Critical fire weather is expected for Western Washington from Monday through Wednesday. During that time, there will be hot, dry, unstable conditions that pose high fire danger to the region.
There is potential for fire behavior to increase significantly this week, and smoke from the Mount Lena fire may be visible at times.
In addition, offshore flows may also bring smoke into the area from fires in other parts of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
The air quality in Port Angeles on Saturday was a hazy 40 parts per million of particulates, in the “good” range, but it was approaching the moderate range of 50 ppm. On Sunday, it was down to 20 ppm.
Wildland firefighters are monitoring the fire and its potential impacts to public safety. Firefighters along with additional reconnaissance flights will continue to monitor the fire’s behavior.
No trail closures in the Lena Lake area are in place at this time, but visitors should be aware that conditions could change quickly.
East Beach Road
The East Beach Road fire at Lake Crescent that started July 29 burned 84 acres and remains 98 percent contained.
There has been no visible smoke in the past few weeks, according to the press release.
Public safety remains a concern, as debris continues to come down off the steep slope onto the road.
Due to the hazardous situation, East Beach Road remains closed to all visitor traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians, at the U.S. Highway 101 intersection. Log Cabin Resort is still operating and can be accessed via state Highway 112 to Joyce-Piedmont Road.
All day-use recreation sites along East Beach Road in Olympic National Park are closed. Local residents can access property up to 2 miles west of Highway 101 or from Log Cabin Resort up to the hard closure.