Fire crews trying to limit spread of 375-acre Paradise Fire started by lightning

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. -- Fire crews began Thursday to try to limit the spread of the 375-acre Paradise Fire that park officials said was started by lightning.

The fire is deep in the southwestern corner of Olympic National Park, along the Queets River near its confluence with Paradise Creek. It is in an area of very tall, centuries-old trees, the park said.

"Fire personnel have begun work to limit fire spread on the west (downriver) side," the park said in a news release. "They will then proceed eastward, capitalizing on the cooler and moister weather.  Additional fire crews and a helicopter are on order."

The fire is smoldering and creeping in longs on the forest floor and carrying into tree tops, the park said.

"Minimum impact tactics will be used utilizing water and extinguishing hot areas along the fire perimeter to minimize ground disturbance.," the park said. "The fire is expected to continue to show smoke for much of the summer."

Firefighters hope to prevent spread toward the steep slopes above the Queets River, because it would be very difficult and dangerous for firefighters there, the park said.