Norse Peak fire causes evacuations for several nearby areas

Photo: Norse Peak Fire Info, Facebook

NACHES, Wash. - State Route 410 is closed near Naches due to three fires caused by lightning strikes that have combined to one large wildfire.

These fires are now referred to as the Norse Peak Fire. Numbers show flames from this fire as well as the American Fire have burned a total of 44,799 acres as of Sept. 6, up from 17,418 acres in the past weekend.

[Update, September 19]

As of Sept. 12, land burned has reached over 52,000 acres. The American Fire, just south of the Norse Peak Fire, reached 1,061 acres to the south of the Bumping Lake area.

Firefighters were able to contain 80% of the fire as of September 19 after weather conditions including rainfall allowed firefighters to gain control of the attack.

---End of Update.---

Level 3, or mandatory evacuations were ordered for the following areas September 16.

  • Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road (Yakima County)
  • Silver Springs Campground, Silver Creek, Deep Creek (Pierce County)
  • Goat Creek
  • Alta Community
  • Pick Handle Basin
  • Gold Hill Community
  • Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area

Those staying in the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and surrounding neighborhoods to the west and the Bumping Lake area were forced to evacuate due to flame spread of both fires.

To stay up to date on fire evacuations, check the Norse Peak Facebook page.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said crews continue to remove trees and debris near SR 410 in the Bumping Lake area, causing a section of the road to close in both directions.

SR 410 is closed to all traffic from westbound milepost 88 at Bumping River Road and eastbound milepost 69, just east of the Chinook Pass summit. WSDOT leaders say a detour is available at SR-123 and US 12 (White Pass).

A reopening time has not been determined, and the road will remain closed through at least Sept. 6. Crews periodically reassess conditions to estimate when roads are safe for driving.

In Pierce County, Crystal Mountain Blvd and State Route 410 between mile posts 66 to 69 is also closed.

The fire moved towards Highway 410 along Gold Hill to the west and Fifes Peak to the east late last week. Helicopter bucket drops of water were used to slow the progression of the fire.

Fire crews have been able to contain 8 percent of the wildfire, and continue work to prevent flames from spreading to roads.

Firefighters are working to steer the fire’s eastern progress toward the Little Naches Road and keep it north of SR 410.

Crews have installed hose lays and sprinklers in the Idle Hour area and will continue working toward the east. Firefighters said they anticipate fire spread as expected dry, hot and windy weather conditions continue.

Additional closures including campgrounds and recreation sites are as follows.

  • There is no access to the cabins or campgrounds west of Bumping River Road to Chinook Pass.
  • The 1900 or Little Naches Road is closed at the intersection of 1900 and 1902. Kaner Flat and Little Naches campgrounds and the Little Naches Summer Home tract remain open.
  • Bumping River Road is open to the lake but the trails north of the road are closed to access. Facilities and amenities along the road to the lake such as Goose Prairie, the Bumping Lake Marina, Chinook Outfitters, etc. remain open.
  • The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Chinook Pass to Government Meadow.

Details on a Forest Order Closure in the area may be found here.

Updates for this fire as well as other fires in the state can be found here.

There is a public meeting scheduled for Sept. 5, from 6:30 to 7 p.m. at the Nile Valley Community Church, located at 60 Bedrock Lane in Naches. Fire officials and locals will provide fire activity information and take questions from the public.