A wildfire on the extreme northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula forced more than 100 people to evacuate neighborhoods in Neah Bay on Thursday, and nearby schools have been closed.
Mecca Tribal Chairman TJ Green told the Peninsula Daily News that the fire is burning on the remote Mecca Indian Reservation near Hobuck Lake. Residents reported the fire to emergency dispatchers in the morning when embers started falling near the lake, he said. Green said the cause is unknown.
An evacuation was recommended for area residents and Mecca Community Gym was opened as a shelter. Green said no one was injured.
Ohio firefighters are working to contain a 1,300-acre wildfire in the Wayne National Forest.
Cape Flattery School District Superintendent Michelle Parkin said Neah Bay’s elementary, junior high and senior high schools were closed Thursday and will remain closed Friday.
The Cape Flattery Trail and Hobuck Campground were closed. Green said the campers had been evacuated.
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The state Department of Natural Resources said the Hobuck Fire is comprised of three active wildland fires: Hobuck Lake, The Cape and Johnnie Junction.
“It completely engulfed the hillside. The flames could be seen for miles,” Green said.
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Green said the state Department of Natural Resources has about 60 personnel on hand and two helicopters for water drops, although Thursday’s wind kept them grounded.
Neah Bay saw gusts as high as 52 mph Thursday, King 5 reported.