Portion Of U.S. 2 Closed By Bolt Creek Fire To Reopen Monday
The portion of U.S. Highway 2 that's been closed for nearly two weeks is now set to reopen on Monday.
The holdup has been trees that have fallen onto the roadway after being burned in the adjacent Bolt Creek Fire.
Washington Department of Transportation spokesperson RB McKeon says there are still a large number of trees that need to be hauled away.
"Arborists from the State Parks removed 50 to 60 of the burned trees up on the roadside," said McKeon. "And they're going to continue that work until the immediate dangers in that area are mitigated."
Arborists from Washington State Parks are working with the Department of Transportation to make sure it'll be safe to reopen U.S. 2 on Monday.
McKeon says the arborists are playing a key role in the process.
“We need those tree experts to not only safely take down these trees, but have a better expertise at what to look for as far as trees that pose a threat to public safety,” McKeon said.
Meanwhile, WSDOT has set up soft and hard closure points to handle people who live inside the 13-mile closure.
A hard closure is in place on the closure's eastside at Skykomish, which means only emergency vehicles and personnel working on mission critical aspects of the fire are allowed beyond that point.
The westside end of the closure at Sunset Falls is a soft closure, where local residents are allowed to pass through.
All the check points are manned with personnel who screen drivers who attempt to pass through.
The Bolt Creek Fire itself is largely under control. As of Tuesday night, it was 95 percent contained and burning 10,193 acres.
It's being handled by the Type 2 Northwest Incident Management Team 8. A Type 2 Team has more resources and personnel that the smaller, locally based Type 3 Team that was previously managing the fire.