North Cascades Highway reopens, fires continue burning

Screen shot from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) InciWeb

The North Cascades Highway has reopened after wildfires forced its closure for nearly a month.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced it reopened the road earlier this week, The Bellingham Herald reported.

Washington state Department of Transportation officials said in a blog post that fire response crews continue to use the highway for staging work. Because of that, speed between mileposts 166 and 172 is reduced to 35 mph and a pilot car is moving traffic through the area, and officials said to expect travel delays.

"There are still fires burning throughout the state that may affect travel and conditions can change quickly," the post said. "Make sure you have plenty of water, a full tank of gas and have checked our app or travel alert map for the most current information before you head out on a trip."

The road was initially closed July 12 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Winthrop and near Early Winters, for fire response. The highway remained open on the west side, allowing access to the North Cascades National Park visitor center at Newhalem and nearby hiking trails, but passage to the east side of the state was not permitted.


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