Highway 2 over Stevens Pass to remain closed into Monday

Homes Still Threatened, Progress Reported On California Fire
Daniel Kim - member, The Seattle Times

Mount Index is obscured by wildfire smoke from the Bolt Creek Fire Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

INDEX, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Highway 2 northeast of Seattle will stay shut between Index and Skykomish through at least Monday as crews working on the Bolt Creek fire clear debris and secure trees and boulders that could crash onto the roadway.

The closure could last longer, The Seattle Times reported. On Wednesday night, officials said a large fire-weakened Douglas fir tree fell and slid downhill across the highway and through the guardrail.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has been clearing the road and restoring access for firefighters. Emergency response personnel on Monday will evaluate whether the road can be opened.

Rachel Lipsky, a spokesperson for Northwest Incident Management Team 8, said officials are announcing highway closure heading toward Stevens Pass so people can plan accordingly.

Recent weather has been favorable to crews on the blaze, which remained at an estimated 14.75 square miles (38 square kilometers) burned as of Thursday, in part because mapping flights haven’t been done for the past two nights.

The fire started Saturday during hot, dry and windy conditions, causing hikers and residents to quickly flee.

Evacuation levels were eased Thursday to the lowest level for people in the town of Index while people living in the Baring and Grotto areas were still under mandatory evacuation notices.