WSDOT Planning For Winter On US 2 After Bolt Creek Fire
The state Transportation Department is already looking into issues that could close down U.S. Highway 2 this winter.
The Bolt Creek Fire has torched the forest adjacent to the roadway near Skykomish, which has left the highway vulnerable when storms pick up.
WSDOT spokesperson RB McKeon says they're trying to prepare ahead of time for weather events that could affect travel on U.S. 2.
"The weather service, their Seattle office has some modeling and forecasting, so we're in touch with them about, 'What does this mean for winter, and the first time that we have a heavy rain up there," said McKeon. "We want to get ahead of that as much as possible."
WSDOT is concerned about how burn scars from the fire will change the runoff of rain and snow onto the roadway.
U.S. Highway 2 has been closed down because of the Bolt Creek Fire no fewer than five times since it ignited on the morning of Saturday, September 10th.
McKeon says the current fire management team has meteorologists and hydrologists who are deciding what needs to be done to protect the highway from forest damage brought on by the fire.
"That's in part is why you're seeing so much tree removal now," McKeon said. "It's because we're hoping to get ahead of what could be more closures coming this winter."
McKeon says WSDOT crews will remain in place at the Bolt Creek Fire as long as the fire incident management team stays in place.