SKYKOMISH, Wash. – The Bolt Creek fire intensified Sunday, prompting authorities to raise the evacuation level to Level 2 from Skykomish to Baring, King County.
“As you may notice, there’s a lot of smoke in the sky,” Linda Lancaster, one of the public information officers with the Bolt Creek fire, said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “This hot, dry weather is causing the fire to kind of pick up in activity.”
Firefighters have spent the past three weeks battling the fire and setting “control lines” with a series of “trigger points,” Lancaster said. “The fire’s kind of backing down the mountain today, and it has triggered one of those trigger points.”
The level 2 evacuation applies from Beckler Road to Baring, said Andy Nesmith, another public information officer, Sunday afternoon. The department’s original statement misstated that the evacuation would apply to the entire fire area.
The Bolt Creek fire ignited early on Sept. 10, spreading rapidly to 7,600 acres by the next day. It was an estimated 10,725 acres Sunday.
The fire department’s decision to raise the evacuation level came the day after U.S. Highway 2 between Index and Skykomish reopened, unlocking a critical travel route that had been shut down for two weeks as crews fought to control the Bolt Creek fire.
Lancaster said Sunday firefighters are “working right up to the highway” and asked drivers to slow down.
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