Management of Maple Fire Changing

A new team will takeover management of the Maple Fire on Friday. The wildfire burning in the Olympic National Forest near Hamma Hamma is now 1,396 acres in size and 52% contained.

Team 10 will transition fire management responsibilities to Western Washington Incident Management Type 3 Team under the leadership of Jim Shank at 6 AM Friday. The incoming team will continue the long­ term strategy of keeping the fire between Forest Road 25 to the north and Forest Road 2401 to the south.

The wildfire actively backed down the north side of Jefferson Ridge, primarily consuming ground fuels in a low­ intensity under story burn. A small portion of the fire made it to the Hamma Hamma River where crews monitored fire activity and were available to respond if needed. The river is a natural barrier and FR 25 is a man­ made barrier that has been brushed by crews and equipment, giving firefighters a primary containment line and a contingency line.

To the east, FR 2480 along the Hamma Hamma River is secure as a result of good work over the past week, which includes mopping up burning material on the fire’s edge and cutting down hazard trees. Due to the abundance of hazard trees with fire ­weakened root systems, this area is unsafe and will be patrolled by firefighters.

The fire has remained in­ check along Jefferson Creek to the southeast and east. Sprinkler systems supported by portable water tanks, water tenders and pumps spray water down slope on FR 2401 to keep humidity high and fuels wet. Crews continue fuels reduction work along FR 2401 and FR 2441 to create both a primary and a contingency line for the south flank.

With steep, inaccessible terrain and heavy fuel loading, crews will not build containment lines to stop the fire from spreading west on Jefferson Ridge. Due to the workload and existing hazards, fire managers have determined this course of action unsafe with a low probability of success in holding and securing a line on the ridge.

Weather conditions have improved air quality. However smoke from the Maple Fire as well as fires from California to British Columbia may continue to impact the Hood Canal and surrounding areas.

Roads closed in the Olympic National Forest include Forest Roads 25, 2502, 2421, 2401, 2441, 2401, 2421, and 2480. Trail closures issued for Living Legacy Interpretive Loop (#802), Upper/Lena Lake Trail (#810 & #811), Beaver Pond Loop (#815), Putvin Trail (#813), Mildred Lakes Trail (#822), Jefferson Ridge/Lakes Trail (#808), and Upper/Lower Elk Lake Trail (#805). Facility closures include Hamma Hamma Cabin & Campground? Lena Creek and Lena Lake Campgrounds.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the Maple Fire area, restricting access for all unauthorized aircraft including drones. If a drone flies over a wildfire all aircraft must be grounded, which can drastically inhibit critical fire suppression efforts. Flying any aircraft within the TFR is prohibited and violators will be prosecuted.