Mason County News
Wildfire Near Eldon Grows; Fire Restrictions In Place
The wildfire burning in the Olympic National Forest northwest of Eldon (approximately 5 miles west of Hwy 101 and the Hood Canal) grew Tuesday despite crew and helicopter efforts.
The State Department of Natural Resources says the Maple Fire grew to 411 acres and is 5% contained. Heavy timber and steep, rugged terrain have hampered efforts, although work continues. Forest Service roads in the area (2421 and 2401) remain closed.
The focus of suppression efforts is on the east side of the fire to minimize damage to State Trust timber lands. Receipts from the management of these lands are used to support local schools and other public services. Suppression goals also include keeping the fire south of the Jefferson Ridge and north of Jefferson Creek to protect popular recreation sites.
Due to persistent hot and dry weather conditions, fire restrictions are in place for the Olympic National Forest, Olympic National Park and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Beginning August 8, Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will restrict campfires to developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and rental cabins with cement or metal fire rings only until further notice.
This includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.
Federal land managers are instituting fire restrictions due to the long-term forecast for hot and dry weather, the current commitment of firefighting resources battling numerous wildfires around the nation, and the strain any new uncontrolled fires would place on these resources.
“With the high fire danger and staff already committed to suppressing fires across the country, we are enacting this fire restriction to conserve our firefighting resources and to help prevent additional fires,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.
Gas camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Creachbaum urges extreme caution with any open flame.
Visitors to national parks and forests should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires. To reduce the risk, please consider the following:
- Fireworks are prohibited on federal public lands.
- Before going camping, learn of any fire restrictions in place and never leave a campfire unattended.
- If smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in some type of an ashtray.
To report a fire dial 911.