INDEX — Drizzle and cool weather continue to dampen the Bolt Creek fire, further easing evacuations and closing an emergency shelter in Startup.
However, U.S. 2 will remain closed through the weekend due to hazardous road conditions, said Rachel Lipsky, a spokesperson for the Northwest Incident Management Team. There is no set reopening date.
Lipsky said fire officials will meet on Monday morning to discuss reopening the highway, which remains closed east of Index-Galena Road and at the intersection of the highway and North Fifth Street in Skykomish. A large burned tree, nearly 50 inches in diameter, came down Wednesday night across the highway, destroying a guard rail. No fire crews were harmed. Lipsky said there are worries over additional burnt trees, rocks and boulders falling on the highway.
On Thursday, the fire held at 9,440 acres with 5% containment. Slower winds, higher humidity and cool marine air are “really helping us get a hold of this fire,” Lipsky said.
Crews continued to build containment lines on the fire’s east and west edges, she added.
The fire could flare up again if winds increase above 25 miles per hour, but high winds are not predicted.
There were further changes to evacuation levels at noon on Thursday. The Level 2 evacuation warning “be set to go” for Index dropped to a Level 1 warning meaning “be ready.” There were no other evacuation warnings for Snohomish County.
Barring and Grotto remain at Level 3 “go now” and Skykomish at Level 1. Beckler Road (Forest Service Road 65) is at Level 3.
The Startup Event Center closed its indoor shelter on Thursday, following the closure of a Red Cross-operated shelter at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Updates are available on the Bolt Creek Fire Information Facebook page.