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'It’s desolate, it’s eerie': Residents evacuate from growing Bolt Creek Fire

Those that live in Index and Gold Bar packed up their belongings and left their homes as the Bolt Creek Fire continues to grow.

SEATTLE — Residents living near the Bolt Creek Fire were told to evacuate Saturday as the blaze grew to several thousand acres.

Car after car were turned away on Highway 2 East of Gold Bar Sunday morning. The road was blocked with a road closed sign and manned by a Washington Department of Transportation worker.

“I have some chickens in there that I probably need to get out, but they won’t let me,” said a woman who pulled up, trying to get back into her house. She was turned away.

Those that had already packed up their homes and left weren’t allowed to go back.

“Well I’m just loading up the last of my stuff and heading out,” said Bryce White who lives between Index and Gold Bar. The sun was barely seen through the smoke as White packed his last cherished items.

“It’s the times we’re living in here so I’m just grateful we had a place to go and we’ll see how things work out the next few days with this," said White who packed his clothes, tools for work, and a generator.

The last time White saw ash fall like this was when Mount Saint Helens blew. Pulling out of his driveway, he's unsure what the next couple of days will bring.

“It’d be nice to have it here, we might dodge it, but who knows. If not, we’ll just rebuild again," said White before pulling his van out of the driveway and leaving towards Sultan.

“It’s desolate, it’s eerie,” said Casey Letterman with Skyland Ranch who made the quick decision to evacuate her livestock Saturday evening.

"Right now we are clearly animal-less which is a first in probably the history of the ranch,” said Letterman. Skyland Ranch gives horse riding tours and also is an organization that helps those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. The ranch is currently under a Level 2 evacuation, which means be ready to leave on short notice.

“With the quantity of animals and people that we’re looking out for, you have to call it early, even if it ends up being better safe than sorry,” said Letterman.

It took four to five hours to move over forty cows, horses and dogs. 

“They’re all running loose on a friend’s farm right now together which is going to be a new challenge of catching some of the cows and horses the way they scattered. They’re happy and they’re safe, but that’s all that matters,” said Letterman.

At this point, many are stuck waiting to see what happens. 

“Two days from now this whole situation could be absolutely different so we’ll have to ride it out,” said Letterman.

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