East-west state travel went back to normal Friday with the reopening just before 9 a.m. of Blewett Pass, the the Highway 97 mountain route that was closed all week for culvert replacement.
But Old Blewett Pass Highway, the historic route just off the existing pass, remains closed while crews continue to cope with the Iron East Fire, now 150 acres and burning just northwest of Highway 97 near Iron Creek. "The fire’s still ongoing, and for public safety and the safety of our firefighters, we would ask that the public avoid the area around Old Blewett Pass Highway," said Iron East fire information officer Lauren Burnes. "We’re using that to access the wildfire as well as local forest service roads."
The fire, which started Sept. 7, is estimated at 50 percent containment, and could reach full containment by noon Monday.