Massive Fire Forces Hundreds Of People To Evacuate In Western Washington

By Zuri Anderson

September 12, 2022

Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation

Hundreds of residents had to leave their homes over the weekend due to a raging wildfire in Western Washington.

The Bolt Creek Fire has consumed over 8,000 acres as of Monday morning (September 12), prompting a Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order for residents of Index, according to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management (DEM). Highway 2 has been shut down for non-emergency traffic between Milepost 32 and 50. No deaths and injuries have been reported.

Officials say anybody living between Index and Zeek's Drive-In is under a Level 2 evacuation order, meaning they must prepare to leave at a moment's notice. That also extends to residents as far west as Gold Bar.

Despite the evacuation orders, only 50% of people in the affected areas have left as of Sunday morning (September 11), according to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

"We ask that they reconsider. The fire remains active," deputies tweeted. "We need everybody’s help protecting lives today."

Air quality plummeted over the last couple of days due to the fast-moving blaze, choking the sky with ash and smoke. DEM urges anybody in Snohomish County to stay indoors and filter the air while the Bolt Creek Fire is active.

Those at higher risk of complications from poor air quality include elderly people, infants, young children, pregnant individuals, and people with heart and lung conditions.

For more information about the evacuations and available shelters, check out Snohomish County's page on the Bolt Creek Fire.

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