How dry is it? Sprinkler system set up in Olympic rain forest

QUINAULT, Wash. - In yet another sign of this year's unusually dry, hot summer - a giant sprinkler system has been set up for the Olympic rain forest.

Yes, you read that right.

Fire officials, desperate to combat a wildfire that has been burning for weeks in a remote, rugged area of Olympic National Park, decided to try out something more than water drops from helicopters.

So they set up a sprinkler system that is designed to boost humidity in the now bone-dry area, which normally receives well over 100 inches of rain a year and is considered one of the largest temperate rain forests in the world.

National Park Service spokesperson Tacey Skinner said the system consists of hoses with sprinklers about three feet off the ground that are hooked up to portable water tanks.

"They're running a sprinkler system along the western flank (of the fire) to help simulate rain by adding moisture and humidity," she said.

The blaze, dubbed the Paradise Fire, is still burning within perimeter lines, but so far there's been no growth outside of those lines, Skinner said.

A spell of cooler and moister weather should help as well.
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