An 18-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 remains closed to all traffic due to the Bolt Creek Fire.

The road has been closed between Skykomish and Gold Bar since Saturday when the fire was first reported.

Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesperson, Amy Moreno, says the closure continues to be necessary because crews are actually using the highway as part of their strategy to keep the fire from spreading.

“Fire crews are still working near Highway 2, and because of that we need to keep the roadway closed, since they’re using the highway as a fire break.”

Moreno adds the road will need to remain closed even after fire activity diminishes to allow inspectors and geotechnical crews with the DOT to and address any damage or potential hazards created by the fire.

“So far, it looks like the roadway itself is in pretty good shape. Some guardrail has been damaged but it’s just a small section. The real issue is the trees along the roadway that may have been burned and could be unstable due to fire activity.”

The closure has created a heavier volume of traffic on Interstate-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, as well as State Route 20 over Rainy and Washington Passes.

Motorists are being asked to plan for possible delays and add extra time to their travel plans when using these alternate routes.

There is currently no estimated timeframe for the reopening of U.S. Highway 2.

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