The Department of Transportation is urging drivers not to disregard a new lengthened closure of State Route 20 North Cascades Hwy., where crews are now battling two fires.

The highway is now closed along a 51-mile stretch from Newhalem on the west side to Silver Star Campground on the east side, where it normally closes for its winter time shutdown.

Crews are now battling a second wildfire called the Blue Lake Fire near Washington Pass along with the Sourdough Fire near Newhalem.

The two are active wildfires burning along the highway, and there is no recreation allowed anywhere between the two closure points.

There's also no estimated time for when SR 20 will reopen.

The Sourdough Fire started with a lightning strike on July 29 near Diablo in the steep and rugged terrain of Ross Lake National Recreation Area, 7 miles northeast of Newhalem.

It's burning nearly 3,000 acres and is 11 percent contained. A Type 2 national response team is managing the Sourdough Fire.

Meanwhile, a statewide Type 3 Incident team took over the Blue Lake Fire Wednesday, which is burning about 200 acres.

The fire is burning just south of State Route 20 and near popular hiking and climbing trails, such as Blue Lake, Heather Maple Pass, and the Pacific Crest Trail near Bridge Creek.

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