No estimated reopening for closed section of SR 410 due to Norse - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

No estimated reopening for closed section of SR 410 due to Norse Peak Fire activity

Posted: Updated:

NACHES, WA – Changing fire behavior and fire activity will keep a 15-mile section of State Route 410 east of Chinook Pass closed. It is unknown if the closed section will reopen in time for Labor Day weekend travel. Crews believe they will be able to make a more accurate reopening assessment by Thursday morning, Aug. 31. If the highway does reopen, it will be used as a thru-route only and access to campsites and trailheads will remain closed due to fire hazards. Nightly openings will continue from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. as conditions allow.

The closure points are from SR 410 just east of Chinook Pass summit (milepost 69) to Hells Crossing (milepost 84). A detour is available via US 12/White Pass and SR 123. The affected areas are highlighted in the attached map. Currently, no one is allowed in the highlighted closure points for recreational purposes. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Naches Peak Loop trail are open and accessible from the west side.  

There was an increase in fire activity yesterday in the Norse Peak Wilderness Area. These conditions were expected due to the high temperatures, low relative humidity, and atmospheric instability that had been forecast.  North of Highway 410, the Union Creek Fire crossed Union Creek, moved east and joined the Norse Peak Fire.  These fires are moving south around the eastern side of Gold Hill along Union Creek. There was also intense heating and significant fire spread on the northeast side of the Norse Peak Fire towards Sheepherder Lake. The fire does not appear to have crossed Survey Creek, but has joined Fire 367 to the north. These three fires are now referred to as the Norse Peak Fire with estimated size of 5712 acres.  An infrared flight is planned for tonight to provide updated information.

South of Highway 410 the American Fire continued to descend north towards the American River. It did not move south towards the Bumping Lake Recreation area. It is now at an estimated 285 acres.

In the Bumping Lake Recreation area, firefighters continued removing felled hazardous trees and brush from along Bumping River Road to create a firebreak in an area where mitigation work had been done years ago as part of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan project. This break is along the northwestern side of Bumping Lake Marina through the spillway, along the road and northwest of Goose Prairie community.

Today: Firefighters and heavy machinery are clearing hazardous trees and debris from the closed portion of Highway 410.    Firefighters are establishing anchor points along the highway to hold fire north of the 410 corridor. They are looking for opportunities to steer the fire away from Highway 410, and protect the cabins, homes, and other values in the area.

Along Bumping River Road, firefighters continue to improve the fire break and anticipate completing that mission in two more days.

Weather Forecast: The upper level ridge and thermal trough will remain over the fire through much of the day, resulting in continued hot and dry conditions, although not quite as extreme as yesterday.  The thermal trough will begin to shift east during the afternoon which will result in increasing humidity levels and breezy southwest or west winds. Cooler and moister air will continue to push over the Cascades through the night and into Wednesday. An even cooler and moister surge of air will come with a cold front Wednesday night and early Thursday

Fire Behavior: Fire activity is expected to be very robust again today due to the hot, dry weather and active winds. The fire is likely to add significant acreage.

Resources: 9 Type 2 crews; 19 engines; 2 dozers; 2 water tenders, 6 falling groups; 17 pieces of heavy equipment; 2 chippers; 2 helicopters.

Hwy 410: The nighttime opening of Hwy 410 continues. Driving along this corridor requires extra caution. Travelers should be aware that there could be smoke, firefighters working, flashing lights, and possibly fire activity in the area. The highway has been closed during the day from east of Chinook Pass (mile post 69) and west of Hell’s Crossing (mile post 84), and open nights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Firefighters continue monitoring conditions. Check the Department of Transportation travel alerts at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/.

All Closures, Restrictions and Evacuations remain in effect: For more details and maps visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/. Recreational cabins at Union Creek and Pleasant Valley, and the Lodgepole and Pleasant Valley campgrounds, remain closed under Level 3 Evacuation Notification. A broad area of National Forest around the fires, including many trails, is closed. Other recreational facilities including campgrounds and businesses at Goose Prairie and Bumping Lake, under Level 1 Notification, remain open.

For people sensitive to smoke impacts, www.wasmoke.blogspot.com is an excellent resource to learn about recorded air conditions and appropriate safety steps to reduce exposure when smoke is heavier. 


For updated information on the Norse Peak Fire and other fires in the state including evacuations, visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/

For road status near Mount Rainier National Park,visit: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/road-status.htm

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