Residents of the small Snohomish County town of Index were allowed to return home Tuesday evening, as officials eased a wildfire evacuation order that had been in place since Saturday.
The Bolt Creek fire, which ignited Saturday and spread rapidly through the foothills of the western Cascades, covers more than 9,000 acres and is 5% contained. A 17-mile stretch of Highway 2 remains closed, and state transportation officials said they had no estimate for when the road would reopen.
Snohomish County emergency officials just before 5 p.m. Tuesday shifted Index from a Level 3 evacuation order, meaning residents should leave immediately, to a Level 2 order, meaning they should be set to leave at a moment’s notice.
A stretch of Highway 2 just east of Index, covering the communities of Baring and Grotto, remains under a Level 3 evacuation order.
Power was restored Tuesday afternoon to the town of Skykomish. Puget Sound Energy had preemptively cut off power Saturday out of fear power lines could spark more fires.