Containment of the Cold Creek Fire increased to 65% Tuesday morning and U.S. Highway 12 over White Pass is open for the first time in nearly a week.
Officials measured the fire at 564 acres, a lower number than Monday because of better mapping. Firefighters plan to secure the lines on the east flank and begin mop-up activities in that area on Tuesday. Highway 12, a major east-west corridor for the state, had been closed east of the White Pass summit since Sept. 15, a day after the fire started. WSDOT originally closed 45 miles to all but local traffic before tightening the closure area at the end of last week, allowing recreation access from both sides, but the road remained closed to through traffic near the summit.
Fires of this size are rare in the White Pass area, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Summer Derrey said Monday. Neither she nor her co-workers could think of a time in recent history when fire had closed Highway 12 over the pass.