INDEX, Wash. — A 13-mile stretch of Highway 2 that was closed due to the Bolt Creek Fire reopened Saturday.
The highway reopened at 10 a.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), with a reduced speed of 30 mph while crews continue working in the area.
WSDOT crews had been working toward reopening the highway since Sept. 21, following weeks of trying to contain the fire.
Highway 2 between Sunset Falls (milepost 36), which is just east of Index-Galena Road, and Fifth Street North in Skykomish (milepost 49). has been closed for more than a week.
The Bolt Creek Fire has been burning since Sept. 10 and has grown to more than 10,000 acres. It was mostly contained earlier this week, with crews focusing on preventing an east-west spread. The north side of the fire is in the Wild Sky Wilderness and growth is expected to be minimal due to rock outcroppings and other holding features.
The trees that were burned in the fire threatened to crash down onto Highway 2, forcing the state to close it, according to WSDOT. Other hazards included falling rocks and rolling debris due to the destabilized terrain.
Arborists with Washington State Parks removed dozens of trees earlier in the week.
The fire caused Level 3 evacuations, which have since been downgraded. Index and Skykomish remain under a Level 1 evacuation. Baring and Grotto along Highway 2 to Money Creek tunnel is under a Level 2 evacuation notice.