Crystal Mountain Resort evacuation ordered due to Norse Peak fire

Norse Peak fire causes evacuation of Crystal Mountain Resort. Courtesy photo

The Washington Department of Natural Resources reported the staff and vistors at Crystal Mountain Resort are being evacuated due to the Norse Peak fire.

The Norse Peak Fire Information Facebook page states: “The fire has crossed the ridge and is moving down the slope between East Peak and Norse Peak. We are now under a level 3 evacuation. Please leave the area immediately. The Greenwater Community Center is open for anyone needing a place to stay tonight. Response teams from Enumclaw, Buckley and Greenwater are on site. We hope everyone stays safe! We will update as new information becomes available.”

The following is information on the fire from the Incident Information Page:

Norse Peak Fire Update Monday, Sept. 4 – Special Evening Update

Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire

Released: 1:40 hrs. ago

Related Information

Norse Peak Update – printable (pdf 215 kb)

Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017

Cause: Lightning

Total acres: 19,382

Containment: 8%

Structures Destroyed: 0 Injuries to date: 0

Total Personnel: 339

Fire Resources: 6 crews, 28 engines, 2 helicopters, 3 bulldozers, 7 water tenders

EVENING FIRE SUMMARY

Both the Norse Peak and American fires saw substantial growth today as the inversion that had held smoke and fire activity down for several days was pushed out early by a shift in the wind.

With east and southeast winds fanning the fire for the first time since lightning struck the area August 11, Norse Peak grew to 18,882 acres and spread over the Pacific Crest Trail between Lake Basin and Crown Point.

This growth has triggered a Level 3 Evacuation Notice for Pierce County residents in the Gold Hill Community, Pick Handle Basin and the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.

Level 3 is a “Go” situation as current conditions could pose immediate threats to life and safety. Residents might not be allowed to return until conditions are safe.

The American Fire also saw significant activity and grew to 500 acres but remains south of State Route 410 and west of American Ridge at this time.

There is a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 5, from 6:30 to 7 p.m. at the Nile Valley Community Church (60 Bedrock Lane in Naches). Fire officials and local cooperators will provide an overview of fire activity and field questions from the public.

CLOSURES: In Pierce County, Crystal Mountain Blvd is closed as is State Route 410 between mile posts 66 and 88.

In Yakima County, 410 will remain closed through Wednesday to ensure firefighter safety. There is no access to the cabins or campgrounds west of Bumping River Road to Chinook Pass. Fire and Washington Department of Transportation officials will reassess the situation Tuesday.

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.

The latest Forest Closure Order is in place for the fire area and complete details can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices.

EVACUATIONS: In Pierce County, the Gold Hill Community, Pick Handle Basin and Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is under Level 3 Evacuation Notice.

In Yakima County, all facilities along Bumping River Road and the 1900 Road up to Kaner Flat Campground are under a Level 1 Evacuation Notice. This means residents are warned there is a potential threat to the area and they should make plans for possible evacuations. People under Level 1 notifications should monitor incident social media and local media outlets for more information.