Bolt Creek Fire At 9,440 Acres, Conditions Improving
The Bolt Creek Fire north of Skykomish is now burning 9,440 acres in its fifth day of existence, which is up from 7,600 acres the previous day.
But the fire's movement is now slowing down and some evacuation notices have been reduced, with residents of Index no longer being asked to leave the town.
Fire managers say it's still capable of large runs if winds increase above 25 mph, however heavy winds are not currently predicted.
There's also more heavy-duty equipment to clear brush and help set up containment lines to stop the fire's spread.
Meanwhile, the fire has remained north of Highway 2 except at the Money Creek Tunnel where fire burned directly on top of the tunnel.
Visibility has been adequate to safely launch a heavy helicopter to provide water bucket drops to check the fire spread.
The fire has burned down to the highway in multiple locations and firefighters have worked along the highway to prevent the fire from crossing.
Crews completed protections for buildings in the towns of Baring and Grotto at the fire which started at 5:15am on Saturday, September 10.
A higher-level Type 2 Incident team has taken over management of the Bolt Creek Fire from a smaller, locally based Level 3 team.
More than 400 personnel are now working the fire, which is 5 percent contained.
Crews have been working primarily along Highway 2, doing structure protection. They'll continue to protect buildings by building fire lines to push the fire away from those communities.
Crews have reported falling trees and rock on U.S. 2, which is causing traffic hazards. Crews have been working to remove debris and identify hazards on the highway.
Cause of the Bolt Creek Fire is still not known.