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Wildfire Doubles in Size Along Duckabush Trail

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Sep 08, 2011 06:20 AM |
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A wildfire burning along the Duckabush Trail in Olympic National Forest more than doubled in size yesterday to 475 acres. As a result of warm and dry conditions that have triggered a rare red flag warning, both the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Olympic National Forests have imposed strict fire restrictions.

A wildfire burning along the Duckabush Trail in Olympic National Forest more than doubled in size yesterday to 475 acres. Warm and dry weather has triggered a rare "red flag warning" for Western Washington, meaning conditions are extremely ripe for wildfire. As a result, both the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Olympic National Forests have imposed strict fire restrictions.

The fire is located three miles inside the Brothers Wilderness and has been burning for a week near the Duckabush Trail - closing it from the trailhead near Brinnon, all the way to the junction with the Home Sweet Home trail in Olympic National Park. It has also closed the Mount Jupiter trail. It appears to have been ignited from an abandoned campfire.

According to Olympic National Forest, "Access into the fire, along with very steep, rugged terrain, and heavy fuel loading are creating challenges to fire fighting resources." The long term plan is to leave one crew on the Big Hump fire and contain the blaze north of the Duckabush River, east of the Olympic National Park boundary, south of the Dosewallips River, and west of a ridge line from the Dosewallips River south through Mount Jupiter to the Duckabush River.

Authorities don't anticipate full containment until the end of September.

To prevent other fires from igniting in Western Washington, the Olympic and Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forests have instituted fire restrictions in the forests:

  • Smoking is prohibited outdoors. Smoking is only allowed inside personal vehicles, buildings or developed recreation sites and areas cleared and barren at least three feet in diameter.
  • Campfires are prohibited, except in developed campgrounds or picnic sites in established concrete or steel fire pits. Gas grills are also permitted in these areas. Portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed in undeveloped camping areas.

Interested hikers can monitor the Big Hump fire from the shores of Puget Sound. The plume is quite visible from downtown Seattle. For more details, check with Olympic National Forest or Inciweb, which is the most up-to-date resource.