Wildfire burns 100+ acres in Olympic National Forest

Wildfire burns 100+ acres in Olympic National Forest

Credit: Amanda Sullivan

A wildfire burns in the Duckabush Area of the Olympic National Forest, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. This photo was taken in Silverdale.

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OWEN LEI / KING 5 News & Associated Press

Posted on September 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM

SEATTLE – Firefighters are battling hundreds of acres of wildfire now burning in a steep hillside in the Olympic National Forest.

The Big Hump Fire, near the Duckabush River, had grown to more than 100 acres by Saturday night, said zone fire management officer David Bauman, though smoke obscured aerial surveys.

Bauman said the fire could cover up to 300 acres at this point.  Investigators are looking into whether the fire started naturally.

"There hasn't been lightning," he said, "so..."

The fire started Thursday, but didn't grow significantly until Saturday morning, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Donna Nemeth.

No homes are in danger, Nemeth said, but massive plumes of smoke from the fire could be seen from as far as Elliot Bay.

The Duckabush hiking trail is closed as a precaution.

 

Most pressing right now, Bauman said, are concerns about fighting the fire.

The fire is spreading up a steep hillside about five miles up the trail. A 20-person "hot shot" ground crew had to park at the trailhead early Saturday morning and hike to the area that's burning.

Bauman said with other fires burning in the eastern part of the state, he's glad to have their help.

"We're requesting additional crews," he said. "we'll see if we get them."

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