Index

Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes a mountain ridge and trees just outside of Index on Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Work begins to stabilize Bolt Creek burn scar for winter weather

A U.S. Forest Service report released last week identified several high-risk areas for landslides and flooding.

 

More than a dozen local leaders gather around to discuss short and long-term needs during a meeting addressing the environmental, safety and economic impacts of the Bolt Creek fire on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, at Bubba’s Roadhouse in Sultan, Washington. In attendance were State and U.S. politicians, the mayors of several Highway 2 towns, and other leadership from Snohomish and King counties (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

‘We’ve seen this coming’: Sky Valley plans for next Bolt Creek-scale fire

U.S. 2 has long needed improvements, but the “unprecedented” blaze lit a fire under policymakers, so to speak.

 

The sun turns a deep red as it sets beyond the Port of Everett and the Olympic Mountains on a hazardously smoky evening Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Finally, rain in the forecast for Western Washington

As wildfires in the North Cascades continued to grow, a new weather pattern was expected to bring welcome change by Friday.

 

Smoke settles in over Everett on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Smoky air to linger in Snohomish County, with no end in sight

The forecast is hazy, literally, with little rain on the horizon to dampen wildfires. In Western Washington. In mid-October.

Smoke settles in over Everett on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
(Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)

U.S. 2 reopens east of Index as Bolt Creek wildfire moves north

The highway was blocked off earlier this week as the fire spread.

(Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)
U.S. 2 was closed from the Money Creek tunnel to Skykomish on Monday evening because the Bolt Creek fire spread close to the highway. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

U.S. 2 closed near Skykomish as Bolt Creek fire spreads

The highway was closed from the Money Creek tunnel to Skykomish, mile posts 46 to 50.

U.S. 2 was closed from the Money Creek tunnel to Skykomish on Monday evening because the Bolt Creek fire spread close to the highway. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Crews work to clear debris from U.S. 2 on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2022 after the Bolt Creek fire destabilized the steep terrain. (Lauren Bonney, PIO NW team 8)

US 2 now reopening Saturday, as Bolt Creek wildfire stays contained

The earlier-than-expected reopen date comes two weeks after the wildfire erupted north of Skykomish.

Crews work to clear debris from U.S. 2 on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2022 after the Bolt Creek fire destabilized the steep terrain. (Lauren Bonney, PIO NW team 8)
Crews from Washington State Department of Transportation continue to clear debris from U.S. 2 earlier this week. (Inciweb)

U.S. 2 to reopen Monday as Bolt Creek wildfire calms

The move comes two weeks after the fire north of Skykomish prompted the highway to close.

Crews from Washington State Department of Transportation continue to clear debris from U.S. 2 earlier this week. (Inciweb)
A firefighter with Sky Valley Fire sprays water on a hotspot Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, along U.S. 2 as the Bolt Creek fire continues to burn between Index and Skykomish. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)

Bolt Creek wildfire now at 10,000 acres; U.S. 2 stays closed

Smoke flooded the Skykomish and Snoqualmie river valleys Monday, as winds shifted.

A firefighter with Sky Valley Fire sprays water on a hotspot Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, along U.S. 2 as the Bolt Creek fire continues to burn between Index and Skykomish. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)
Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridge and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Scientists: Warming climate ‘loads the dice’ for wildfire in west Cascades

Heat plus spark times wind times fuel equaled a 9,440-acre wildfire. Record heat made the Cascades ripe for a fire like Bolt Creek.

Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridge and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Crews work to clear debris from U.S. 2 on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2022 after the Bolt Creek fire destabilized the steep terrain. (Lauren Bonney, PIO NW team 8)

Bolt Creek fire grows as containment efforts expand

Baring and Grotto residents can return home, but all are asked to stay vigilant and be cautious as new hazards emerge.

Crews work to clear debris from U.S. 2 on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2022 after the Bolt Creek fire destabilized the steep terrain. (Lauren Bonney, PIO NW team 8)
Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridges and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Even as flames are quelled, slopes of Bolt Creek fire remain dangerous

Trees and boulders could come down on steep hillsides scarred by fire. Rain could increase threats by loosening soils.

Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridges and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Authorities on Sunday continued to fight the Bolt Creek wildfire near U.S. 2. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish County Regional Fire and Rescue)

Bolt Creek fire remains in check, but U.S. 2 to stay closed for now

The highway will remain closed through the weekend. There is no firm reopening date.

Authorities on Sunday continued to fight the Bolt Creek wildfire near U.S. 2. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish County Regional Fire and Rescue)
Joe Taylor, co-owner of Pinnacle German Shepards, gets his dogs to sit outside of their new temporary home at Rosecrest Equestrian Estate on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Dogs, goats, horses among evacuees of chaotic Bolt Creek wildfire

It has been a stressful week for animals and their owners, who are looking forward to going home as the fire gets under control.

Joe Taylor, co-owner of Pinnacle German Shepards, gets his dogs to sit outside of their new temporary home at Rosecrest Equestrian Estate on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Public information officers Elizabeth Shepard and Lauren Woras put up an informational board regarding the Bolt Creek Fire outside of The Sand Bar Tavern at the intersection of U.S. 2 and Index-Galena Road on Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Reasons for optimism as Bolt Creek Fire remains in check

The fire’s size remained unchanged Wednesday at 9,400 acres. Officials said the cause had yet to be determined.

Public information officers Elizabeth Shepard and Lauren Woras put up an informational board regarding the Bolt Creek Fire outside of The Sand Bar Tavern at the intersection of U.S. 2 and Index-Galena Road on Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Firefighters climbed uphill to cut down trees and prevent them from falling onto the roadway near the Money Creek Campground northwest of Skykomish on Monday. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)

Evacuation order lifted for Index residents who fled Bolt Creek fire

The Bolt Creek fire was up to 9,400 acres, with 5 percent contained. Evacuation orders were downgraded as weather and winds shifted.

Firefighters climbed uphill to cut down trees and prevent them from falling onto the roadway near the Money Creek Campground northwest of Skykomish on Monday. (Peter Mongillo / Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue)
Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridge and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Wildfire smoke closes schools in Index, Sultan

Unhealthy air prompted the first wildfire-related closure in Sultan. Power was cut to Index, where students were told to evacuate.

Smoke from the Bolt Creek fire silhouettes mountain ridge and tree layers just outside of Index on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
U.S. 2 remains closed east of Gold Bar due to the Bolt Creek fire Monday morning near Index, Washington on Sept. 12, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald

Bolt Creek wildfire stalls at nearly 8,000 acres, 2 percent contained

Shifting winds and rain showers will likely lower the risk for homes in Index. Rocks have toppled on U.S. 2.

U.S. 2 remains closed east of Gold Bar due to the Bolt Creek fire Monday morning near Index, Washington on Sept. 12, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald
A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Bolt Creek wildfire grows to nearly 8,000 acres; US 2 closed indefinitely

Evacuation orders remained in place. Only 50% of residents asked to leave had gone, according to the sheriff’s office.

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Bolt Creek wildfire explodes to over 3,000 acres, prompts US 2 evacuations

Evacuations were mandatory from Index to Skykomish. In 12 hours, it grew to an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 acres, shutting down U.S. 2.

State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)