National park fires calm

Although Olympic National Park fires have calmed, rising temperatures and winds could increase them.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Wild fires in Olympic National Park calmed early this week after flaring up Sunday evening, fire management officials said Tuesday.

The Hayes Fire in the Elwha River Valley remained at 718 acres while the nearby Godkin Fire had not grown larger than the last reported acreage of 181.

The Cox Valley Fire near Hurricane Ridge remained at 56 acres and the Ignar Creek Fire northeast of Lake Quinault stayed at about a half-acre.

All four fires were started by lightning July 21.

Light to moderate fire activity was expected Tuesday, but a warming and drying trend is forecast to begin today, fire officials said, which could lead to more fire activity.

Low relative humidity, warm temperatures, and increased winds are predicted for Thursday through Saturday, officials said.

National Park Service officials closed an 8-mile section of the Elwha River Trail late Monday afternoon. That trail remained closed Tuesday from the Hayes River Ranger Station south to Chicago Camp.

The trail is open from Hayes River north to the Whiskey Bend Trailhead and from Chicago Camp south, fire officials said Tuesday.

Wilderness permit holders for that area were notified of the closure and provided information about alternative routes.

In addition to the section of the Elwha River Trail, Obstruction Point Road and the Hayden Pass Trail from Dose Meadows to the Elwha River Trail remain closed for safety reasons, officials said.

The Hayes and Godkin wilderness fires experienced moderate growth due to gusty winds Sunday evening.

A temporary flight restriction is in effect over the fire areas due to increased use of helicopters for water and supply delivery, fire officials said.

If drones are observed near firefighting operations, aircraft are not allowed to fly. Drone launching in national parks is illegal.

Smoke from the wilderness fires tends to settle into surrounding valleys at night and lifts during the day, officials said.

People with smoke sensitivities who live in affected areas can protect themselves by staying indoors, keeping windows and doors closed, and indoor air as clean as possible, officials said.

For more information about smoke, see www.wasmoke.blogspot.com.

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