Smoke rises from the Bolt Creek fire as a train passes Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, along U.S. 2 between Index and Skykomish. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)

Smoke rises from the Bolt Creek fire as a train passes Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, along U.S. 2 between Index and Skykomish. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)

Flash flood watch issued for Bolt Creek fire burn scar area

Heavy rain could trigger flash flooding, urban street flooding and debris flows near recent wildfire burn scars.

INDEX — The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch on Monday for eastern Snohomish County amid excessive rainfall.

Up to half an inch of rain per hour is forecast near the Bolt Creek fire burn scar, including around Index, Baring, Grotto and Skykomish, the weather service said in a memo. Darrington and other eastern areas of the county are also under the flood watch.

“Heavy rainfall could trigger flash flooding of low-lying areas, urbanized street flooding, and debris flows in and near recent wildfire burn scars,” the weather service said.

The flash flood watch is in effect through Tuesday afternoon.

The Bolt Creek wildfire burned over 14,700 acres, or about 23 square miles, north and west of Skykomish.

A meteorologist told The Daily Herald last week burn scars left by recent wildfires increase the risk of flash floods, debris flows and mudslides.

The weather service advised residents to have an evacuation plan and emergency kit; monitor for flash flood warnings and evacuation orders; and consider leaving the debris flow area before heavy rains.

The county will lift its ban on outdoor burning at 8 a.m. Tuesday due to the recent rain.

Those with burn permits for residential yard waste may resume burning as usual, a press release from the county fire marshal said. Recreational fires are allowed without permits. Both types of fires must still be contained in approved fire pits and adhere to size and safety restrictions.

The ban was issued Sept. 13 and prohibited all fires in Snohomish County, including cities. Those living in city limits affected by the ban should check with local fire departments to determine ongoing fire restrictions, the press release said.

Maps of no-burn zones can be found on Snohomish County’s website.

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