A 13-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 from Sunset Falls to Skykomish will remain closed until at least mid- to late afternoon on Tuesday due to the Bolt Creek Fire.

Spokesperson James Poling with the Washington State Department of Transportation says there is one major hazard that continues to keep the road closed.

“We had a significant tree fall down on the roadway last Friday that would have potentially caused serious damaged to any vehicle and greatly injured any people who might have been passing through that area if the road were open. So right now, the removal of burned trees is a top priority, especially the ones that are more likely to fall into the roadway.”

Poling adds that despite the heavy activity from both the fire and those fighting it, the highway hasn’t seen any significant damage.

“The road itself appears to be okay. There’s been some minor damage from debris but most of the debris has been cleared. There’s some guardrail damage but it’s minor. At this point, the concern continues to be the possibility of falling large trees that could cause significant damage in that area.”

Poling says, provided there is no major increase in fire activity, the roadway will be reassessed as soon as all potentially-hazardous trees have been felled.

The closure was enacted on the same day the fire was first reported - September 10 - and initially covered 19 miles of the highway from Gold Bar to Skykomish.

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