Olympic Forest fire spreads to more than 600 acres

Olympic Forest fire spreads to more than 600 acres
The fire in the Duckabush River Valley of the Olympic Peninsula spewed a thick cloud of smoke Saturday.
BRINNON, Wash. - A wildfire in the Olympic Mountains has spread to more than 600 acres and could continue to burn for weeks, officials said Thursday.

But incident managers on the scene say that the "Big Hump" fire, along a remote stretch of the Duckabush River, does not appear to threaten any homes or businesses.

The human-caused wildfire is visible from Seattle and other urban areas of King County when weather conditions are right, sometimes forming a dramatic plume that one observer likened to an "atomic blast."

Fire officials said it's possible that the plume could be visible Thursday afternoon.

About 80 crew members are fighting the blaze, which is burning in a remote area of very steep terrain that is too rugged and dangerous for firefighters to enter.

Instead, crews are trying to contain the blaze by establishing fire lines north of the Duckabush River, east of the Olympic National Park boundary, south of the Dosewallips River, and west of mount Jupiter.

If the fire threatens to reach any of these boundaries, additional resources will be deployed to the fight the blaze, fire officials said.

A helicopter is being used to dump water from Lake Jupiter on the blaze.

In addition, the Duckabush River and Mount Jupiter trails have been closed to hikers.

Fire officials said the blaze is likely to burn and spew smoke until a heavy, season-ending rainfall reaches the area - and that could be weeks away.