Sourdough Fire in Whatcom County burns 1,397 acres, shuts down SR 20
Aug 7, 2023, 7:08 AM | Updated: 9:11 am
(Photo from WSDOT)
A fire in Whatcom County has expanded significantly, growing from 534 acres to 2,933 acres Friday, before subsiding to 1,397 acres Sunday night. It is still 0% contained, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
Due to the fire, the Diablo Dam Access Road and the road into the town of Diablo were closed on Friday, and now State Route 20 (North Cascades Highway) is closed until further notice. SR 20 is closed between milepost 120 to milepost 156, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
More wildfire coverage: Wildfire in Okanogan County spreads, containment only at 10%
🔥HAPPENING TONIGHT: Due to significantly increased wildfire activity SR 20 North Cascades Hwy will close at 10 p.m. Aug. 4 until further notice btwn MP 120 in Newhalem to MP 156 near Rainy Day Pass. Travelers can use I-90 and US 2.
For more info: https://t.co/VrF5OKmH3V pic.twitter.com/q5pm6aFa5W
— WSDOT North (@wsdot_north) August 5, 2023
Spokesperson Margie Ferrucci says the fire threatens Diablo Dam, which provides 30-40% of Seattle’s electricity.
Crews spent the weekend protecting Diablo Dam, by removing brush near it and digging trenches around it. Most City Light workers who live and work there have been evacuated.
Hikers will also not able to access Sourdough Mountain, Diablo Lake, Big Beaver, and Little Beaver.
Crews can’t reach the fire on the ground, but three helicopters are attacking the flames from the air.
Fire crews have also “wrapped” the historic Sourdough Fire Lookout and important structures at Ross Lake. Wrapping is when firefighters cover a building in a fire resistant aluminum barrier.
The Colonial Creek campground and Ross Lake Resort both remain evacuated.