Officials on watch for spurt in Olympic National Park fires

The fires are expected to grow with the onset of hot, dry conditions, the National Park Service said.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Heavy smoke prompted closure of Obstruction Point Road on Thursday, and fire activity is expected to increase today through Sunday in four Olympic National Park fires.

The fires, which have reportedly covered some 250.5 acres for weeks, are expected to grow with the onset of hot, dry conditions, the National Park Service said Thursday.

Fire activity increased Thursday afternoon in the 10-acre Cox Valley Fire, forcing the temporary closure of Obstruction Point Road at Hurricane Ridge due to smoke affecting visibility.

Visitors parked at the trailhead were escorted out of the road by park rangers and fire crews.

The National Weather Service also upgraded the fire weather watch to a red-flag warning for the entire park through midnight tonight.

A red-flag warning means critical fire conditions are or will be occurring shortly and can be aggravated by dry, hot, windy conditions, the weather service said.

A red-flag warning also is in effect for the Western Washington lowlands.

Park Service officials also are monitoring the 150-acre Hayes Fire, the 90-acre Godkin Fire and the half-acre Ignar Creek Fire.

The Godkin, Hayes and Cox Valley fires are 12 to 25 miles south of Port Angeles.

The Ignar Creek Fire is 22 miles northeast of Lake Quinault.

Six fire personnel are monitoring the fires from the Hayes River Ranger Station.

“We’re in a period of high fire weather for the next three days, so we will be looking at those situations very carefully,” Fire Information Officer Brandon Cadwell said Thursday.

“It’s just very fire-friendly weather for the next couple of days.”

Cadwell said temperatures are expected to range in various areas of the park from about 85 degrees to the 90s.

Campfires are banned above 3,500 feet elevation.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at

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