Story updated 5:00 p.m., Aug. 16, 2010
Olympic National Park fire management officials report the Hopper Fire continues to remain active. Yesterday, the fire grew in size during the late afternoon to 325 acres. As the fire moved down the south flank from Mount Hopper it moved closer to the Skokomish River trail. This afternoon, some additional growth is expected as high temperatures and low humidity remain in place over the Olympic Peninsula. However, due to the slow progression seen this morning the additional flight scheduled for 3:00 p.m. this afternoon was canceled.
Due to the projected growth, the following trails are closed for visitor safety: the Scout Lake way trail to St. Peter’s Gate at Mount Stone, the way trail to Hagen Lake and the Mount Hopper way trail. By 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 16 the Skokomish River trail from Nine Stream to the Duckabush/Home-Sweet-Home junction will be closed. “Additional trail closures are needed to provide for visitor and employee safety” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin, “We hope visitors will continue to enjoy the trails and facilities within Olympic National Park. Visitors may contact our fire information line or online at InciWeb.org for the most up to date information about the Hopper fire.”
Two ground monitors remain on scene and are monitoring weather and fire conditions throughout the day; the next observation overflight will be made tomorrow. Hikers should be aware they may encounter smoke in the Mount Hopper area. As conditions change over the next two to three days, hikers interested in exploring the park’s east side are encouraged to contact the park’s Wilderness Information Center (360-565-3100) or visit at http://www.nps.gov/olym for current trail and alternative route information.
The Hopper Fire is located on Mount Hopper on the east side of Olympic National Park, at the headwaters of the Crazy Creek Drainage and Skokomish River in the Olympic Wilderness, approximately 11 miles north of the Staircase area. The fire poses no immediate threat to life, safety, andproperty. Based on the forest fuels, terrain conditions and habitat management goals, fire managers are monitoring fire conditions and allowing fire to play a natural role in this environment. Natural fire in the landscape is an essential ecosystem process that helps maintain the park’s
diverse habitats by releasing nutrients that stimulate new plant growth, and creating a mosaic of vegetation communities.
Interested members of the public may call (360)-565-2975 for recorded information about the Hopper fire. Updates, maps and photos of the Hopper Fire are available online at InciWeb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2065/.
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