Local

Wildfire danger causes resort evacuation in Pierce County

The Norse Peak fire burns in Pierce County. Picture posted on Sept. 4 by InciWeb, the government fire monitoring service.
The Norse Peak fire burns in Pierce County. Picture posted on Sept. 4 by InciWeb, the government fire monitoring service. InciWeb

The Crystal Mountain Resort in Pierce County was being evacuated Monday night due to the approach of the nearby Norse Peak fire.

The resort had temporarily closed earlier because the fire was causing poor air quality, prompting trail closures and traffic diversions.

But by Monday evening, the fire had spread to the point that it was necessary to evacuate hotel guests and residents from the area, the resort said.

“Please leave the area immediately,” the resort posted on its Facebook page.

The resort was under a level 3 evacuation, the highest alert, which means “danger to (the) area is current or imminent,” according to Pierce County.

The resort said those needing a place to stay Monday night due to the evacuation could head to the Greenwater Community Center, located at 59707 on Highway 410 East.

In a post earlier Monday, the resort said the Norse Peak fire had been burning to the east of its facilities for more than two weeks. The resort said it would update its website and Facebook page as conditions change.

The Norse Peak fire started in mid-August because of lightning, according to InciWeb, a government wildfire monitoring service. The roughly 19,000-acre fire is only 8 percent contained, according to InciWeb.

Wildfires have been prompting evacuations and closures around the state in the last week. Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday in all of Washington’s counties because of the wildfires.

One major blaze, the Jolly Mountain Fire in Kittitas County, is threatening thousands of homes and businesses.

Inslee’s declaration allows the Washington National Guard to use its resources to help fight fires and directs state agencies to “do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions,” according to a state news release.

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826, @walkerorenstein

  Comments