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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feb. 27, 2024

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Highway 2 closes again due to fire

Bolt Creek Fire grows to nearly 18 square miles

The Columbian

SKYKOMISH (AP) — US Highway 2 near Skykomish is again closed because of the Bolt Creek Fire burning near the roadway.

Three miles of the highway closed Monday night and was extended to 4 miles Tuesday morning, KING 5 News reported. On Tuesday, US 2 was closed between Northeast Old Cascade Highway and 747th Avenue Northeast in Skykomish, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The department tweeted a video showing crews working in smoky conditions cutting down burnt trees near the roadway.

The fire has been burning since Sept. 10 and has grown to an estimated 17.7 square miles. Some evacuation orders remained in effect.

A 13-mile stretch of US 2 had reopened Saturday after a fire-related weekslong closure.

Officials said hot and dry conditions Monday slightly increased fire behavior, which resulted in more wildfire smoke in the area. Air quality in Western Washington was moderate with some areas experiencing short spikes of air quality that was unhealthy for sensitive groups, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said.

A fire weather watch also was in effect Tuesday but temperatures were expected to drop with clouds and potential moisture moving into the area. That storm system should help clear the smoke, the agency said.