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PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Days after a fire burned down the iconic Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge, a 71-year-old visitor center at Olympic National Park, third-party certified fire investigators are examining the site to determine the cause and origin of the blaze. The National Park Service’s Regional Structure Fire Program Manager is coordinating the investigation.
“This is an active situation, and we appreciate the public’s patience as we work through it,” said Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs. “The good news is that there is still a lot of the park to visit and enjoy - from Kalaloch to Staircase, there are many great places to explore.”
The building was a two story, 12,201 square foot, historic structure built in 1952. It was closed to visitors as it was undergoing an extensive rehabilitation project funded through the Great American Outdoors Act. The fire was first reported on May 7 by a law enforcement ranger on patrol.
The aftermath of the fire at the visitor center will delay the reopening of the Hurricane Ridge Road past Heart of the Hills Campground. The park anticipates being able to provide a timeline for reopening the road in the next few weeks, after June 2.
The Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge was the area’s hub for electrical, water and wastewater treatment. Destruction of the building destroyed infrastructure critical to the operation of this popular part of the park. Park officials are developing plans to remove building debris once the investigation is completed, secure the area, and provide restrooms and other necessary services to ensure visitors can safely enjoy the area soon.
Last updated: May 11, 2023