Fire has shaped Mount Rainier's landscape for thousands of years, and is important for the survival of many plants and animals. Naturally ignited wildland fires are beneficial to the park ecosystem, removing dead wood accumulation and recycling nutrients back into the soil. Most fires at Mount Rainier are suppressed but the park Fire Management Plan allows select fires to be managed to benefit the park's ecosystem.
The park's primary fire management goal is to return fire as a natural ecosystem process. Equally important are protecting life and property. The safety of firefighters and the public is always the highest priority during any firefighting activity.
In-depth information on fire management in the park is available in the Mount Rainier National Park Fire Management Plan.
Active Wildland FiresLast Updated: September 9, 2020
There is currently no access to the park from SR410 from the north through Enumclaw/Greenwater due to a wildfire burning outside the park.The east side of the park can be accessed by SR410 from the east, SR123 from the southeast, SR706 from the southwest.
Past Wildland Fires
2018 Cowlitz Peak Fire
2018 Fan Lake Fire
On the Cowlitz Divide, just off the Wonderland Trail, about 1/4 mile north of the WT/Cowlitz Divide trail junction. Lightning start on July 28, 2018, approx. 40' X 20'. Suppression actions taken July 29 and 30, fire in patrol status for several weeks before being declared out on August 20, 2018.
Haze from Wildfire Smoke
The Longmire meadow along the Trail of the Shadows on July 13, 2018. NPS Photo
The Longmire meadow obscured by haze on August 14, 2018. NPS Photo
Last updated: September 9, 2020