A boat pulling a water skier makes its way past a wildland fire above East Beach Road at Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A boat pulling a water skier makes its way past a wildland fire above East Beach Road at Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Olympic National Park fire grows quickly

Human cause suspected

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A wildland fire suspected to be of human origin exploded Thursday along the steep slopes above East Beach Road at Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.

The East Beach Road fire is believed to have broken out about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. It covered 1 acre by about 9 p.m., 20 acres by the next morning and 63 acres by late afternoon, according to an Olympic National Park press release.

The fire is burning primarily on a south-facing slope in steep, heavy timber with shrub understory and is being pushed uphill by terrain-driven winds.

Heavy smoke and isolated single-tree torching may be visible in the coming days as there is a warm dry weather pattern expected for the region.

Bystanders watch a wildland fire above East Beach Road from a turnout along U.S. Highway 101 at Lake Crescent on Thursday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Bystanders watch a wildland fire above East Beach Road from a turnout along U.S. Highway 101 at Lake Crescent on Thursday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Anyone in the area Wednesday afternoon and noticed human activity on the north side of East Beach Road that may have contributed to the fire is asked to call or text the National Park Services’ Investigative Services Branch tip line at 888-653-0009.

Information also can be provided online at tinyurl.com/PDN-SubmitTip or by emailing [email protected].

Those with information can remain anonymous, the park service said.

Barricades block access to East Beach Road at the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 near Lake Crescent on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Barricades block access to East Beach Road at the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 near Lake Crescent on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The fire is being managed by Olympic Interagency Fire Management.

An aggressive full-suppression strategy is being implemented with multiple resources including aircraft, hand crews and wildfire engines, the park said in a press release.

East Beach Road is closed from U.S. Highway 101 to Log Cabin Resort. Access to East Beach Road between U.S. Highway 101 and Log Cabin Resort is for local residents only.

Log Cabin Resort is still operating and anyone trying to gain access to Log Cabin Resort will need to take state Highway 112 to Piedmont Road.

Day-use recreation sites along East Beach Road in Olympic National Park are closed to the public at this time.

The National Park Service is coordinating response to the fire, aided by the U.S. Forest Service, the state Department of Natural Resources and Clallam County fire districts 2 and 4, with apparatus and staffing support from Clallam County Fire District No. 3.

For updated information, visit www.nps.gov/olym or call the park’s Fire Information Hotline at 360-565-2986.

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Reporter Michael Carman can be reached at [email protected]

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