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Fire near Neah Bay prompts evacuations, school closures

By Associated Press
Published: November 17, 2022, 7:10pm

NEAH BAY — A wildfire at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula prompted more than 100 people to evacuate neighborhoods in Neah Bay on Thursday, and nearby schools have closed.

The fire is burning on the remote Makah Indian reservation near Hobuck Lake, Makah Tribal Chairman T.J. Greene told the Peninsula Daily News. He said residents reported the blaze to emergency dispatchers in the morning when embers began falling near the lake. Greene said the cause was not known.

Evacuation was recommended for area residents and the Makah Community Gym was opened as a shelter. Greene said no one has been injured.

Cape Flattery School District Superintendent Michelle Parkin said Neah Bay’s elementary, junior high and senior high schools were closed Thursday and would be closed Friday.

The Cape Flattery Trail and the Hobuck Campground were closed. Greene said campers were evacuated.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the Hobuck Fire is made up of three active wildland fires: Hobuck Lake, The Cape and Johnny’s Junction.

“It fully engulfed the hillside. The flames could be seen for miles,” Greene said.

The state Department of Natural Resources has about 60 personnel on-site plus two helicopters for water drops, although winds Thursday had kept them grounded, Greene said.

Neah Bay saw a peak gust of 52 miles per hour (84 kilometers per hour) Thursday, KING 5 reported.