GOLD NUMBER, Washed. – Around 10 a.m. Saturday, WSDOT crews reopened US 2 to traffic. The reopening of the road follows about two weeks of closure due to the Bolt Creek Fire.
The Bolt Creek Fire started on September 10th. Investigators still don’t know what caused the fire.
Officials are still working to fully contain the blaze, which they estimate is now at 10,599 acres.
Previous coverage: Bolt Creek Fire near Skykomish 96% contained; USA 2 will reopen on September 24
Although crews are still working along US 2, the road reopened Saturday morning.
“Business has been down, but we’ve done it so we can handle the weather, pretty much any kind of storm. It’s going to be good. It’s good that traffic is back,” said Devon Wetzel. .
Wetzel co-owns the Sand Bar Tavern in Gold Bar.
The business is located right along US 2, and Wetzel says most of his customers are people passing through. So the last two weeks have been a challenge.
However, even though they didn’t see as many customers, Wetzel says they still stayed busy.
“Kittitas Fire was in our parking lot for the better part of a week. So we just came here. I was here around 9, 10 in the morning, even though it doesn’t open until noon. Just to give them a hand in case they need it, a cup of coffee, a bathroom, you know, just a place to chill,” he said.
Wetzel says he feels good that he was able to offer some comfort to crews who were working long days to fight the fire.
READ ALSO: Fire smoke: How to protect yourself, your home from dangerous air quality
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“If they’re willing to do that to help. We have to be willing to do our part to help,” he said.
Although US 2 is open, officials are asking motorists to slow down.
They also say to use caution in the fire area and expect occasional smoke along the road and the possibility of flames on the hillside.
If you encounter these conditions, turn on your headlights and proceed slowly without stopping.