Mason County News
Update on Maple Fire; Public Meeting Friday
The Maple Fire (the wildfire burning in the Olympic National Forest above the community of Hamma Hamma and northwest of Eldon) is burning in steep terrain on the Jefferson Ridge Line and North of Jefferson Creek. Elk Lake trail runs through the middle of the fire.
The Maple Fire has burned 810 acres, is 5 percent contained and there are 163 personnel currently battling the fire. Crews and equipment ordered earlier in the week are now beginning to arrive and officials expect to have around 300 personnel on the fire by Friday with more equipment also expected. Priorities are to keep the fire from spreading further East, North and South.
A public meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Hamma Hamma fire station, 34571 N US Hwy 101, Lilliwaup, WA 98555.
Participating agencies in fighting this wildfire include the Olympic National Forest and Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR) has been put in place over the Maple fire area restricting public access for aircraft including drones. The public is reminded that all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, which inhibits their ability to do critical fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.
Evacuations: The Hamma Hamma Road leading into the Lena Lake area is closed. A Level 3 evacuation notice for this area will be available soon. This means “Leave Now”. Don’t wait, pack your stuff and leave the area. If you were planning to hike or recreate in the area, you must make other arrangements.
Closures: The Olympic National Forest has closed the Jefferson Ridge Trail and Elk Lake Trail as well as their trailheads. The 2401, 2421, and 2480 roads are closed to public access. Lena Lake area is now closed with the official notice to follow. Visitors in the Hood Canal and surrounding areas may continue to see heavy smoke while the Maple fire continues to burn.
Hot and dry temperatures continue Thursday with relative humidity in the mid 30’s. Cooler weather is expected Friday afternoon and heading into the weekend. The fire is expected to continue burning heavily in the interior causing a large column of smoke with continued heavy smoke. Fire danger will remain extremely high across the state. Be sure to check with your local fire agencies for restrictions and for forest and state closures.