Maple Fire Continues Burning & Smoking

The Maple Fire continues to burn and emit smoke, and continues to slowly creep west. The wildfire burning in the Olympic National Forest about five miles west of Hood Canal near Hamma Hamma is 1,779 acres in size and 41% contained.

However, the fire remains within the identified containment lines and firefighters are monitoring growth along Jefferson Ridge. The fire has not moved to the northeast or south but will continue to spread west. Crews will focus on holding and improving roads, rivers and creeks where the fire is currently held in check. The fire is expected to continue burning and emitting smoke until steady, seasonal rains extinguish it. Officials first disclosed this during the August 10th public meeting on the Maple Fire.

Warm, dry and unstable conditions are forecast for several days. Heavy, low level smoke is expected; however, onshore flows should lower temperatures and clear the smoke by Wednesday night. Cooler weather with some possible showers is forecast into next weekend.

Given the fire’s low activity and little change in perimeter, fire updates will be distributed as needed.

The Type 3 Western Washington Incident Management Team is working to meet objectives identified by the Olympic National Forest (ONF) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). No private land has burned or is at risk.

The ever-present threat of both live and dead trees falling remains in the fire area, where root systems have been burned off or severely compromised. Exposed roots systems may cause these trees to fall unpredictably, presenting a major risk to firefighter and public safety.

Due to the active fire in the area, recreationists hoping to hike the Lena Creek Trail over Labor Day weekend are being asked to plan a different destination. This popular trailhead lies within the established closure area based on proximity to the fire. The Hamma Hamma Road (Forest Road 25) that accesses this area is CLOSED. Other road closures include Forest Roads 2502, 2421, 2401 and 2441.

Also closed: Olympic National Forest recreation sites include Living Legacy Interpretive Loop (#802), Upper/Lena Lake Trail (#810 and #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.