The fire at the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge that started yesterday, May 7, continues to smolder under building rubble. Park officials are securing a third-party certified fire investigator to source the origin and cause of the blaze. The Hurricane Ridge Road from the Heart of the Hills Campground remains closed to the public as the park works to investigate the fire and make the area safe.
At about 4:30 p.m. on May 7, a law enforcement ranger on patrol reported that the 12,201 square foot Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge, a popular visitor center destination in Olympic National Park, was engulfed in flames. Clallam County Fire District 2 and Port Angeles Fire Department responded to the fire. By the time the crews arrived, the building had collapsed to the foundation. The structure continues to smolder under the rubble but is contained within the footprint of the building. The fire crews left the scene at about 7:30 p.m.
“The park team and I are saddened by the loss of the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge, an iconic structure in the park and one of its most popular sites. We are extremely grateful for the response of park partners in Clallam County Fire and the Port Angeles Fire Department, who responded to the incident. We are also grateful for the outpouring of support from the community as we move forward.”
– Superintendent Sula Jacobs
The Day Lodge, located in the park’s most easily accessed high alpine area, had been under construction since April 3 and was closed to visitors. The Hurricane Ridge area had been on track to reopen later this month before Memorial Day weekend, but the building was to be closed for two years.
Park officials say the structure appears to be a complete loss. The building was built in the 1950s and housed interpretive exhibits upstairs, a gift shop, and a small café run by Aramark, a park concessioner. In the wintertime, the concessioner rented out snowshoes and skis. The majority of the contents of the building had been removed before the start of the rehabilitation work.
According to Wikipedia, Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area is a small ski area in the northwest United States, located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. It is within Olympic National Park, seventeen miles (27 km) south of Port Angeles.
Hurricane Ridge is one of only three lift-serviced ski areas operating in a U.S. National Park (Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park and Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort in Cuyahoga Valley National Park are the others). It is the westernmost ski area in the continental United States.
2 thoughts on “Fire Destroys Day Lodge at Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area, WA”
With plenty of water to harness, it is inconceivable that all buildings at a ski resort are not sprinklered.