State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam
After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »
Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues
A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »
Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014
Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »
Tolo Fire in North Cascades National Park
A fire started by a lightning strike is burning in North Cascades National Park approximately fifteen miles up-Valley from Stehekin, Washington. Several small fires were reported to the National Park Service on Friday, July 13, after a lightning storm passed through the area. Three North Cascades National Park firefighters were transported by helicopter to a fire on the north slope of Tolo Mountain that afternoon. This very small fire called the Bridge Creek Fire was contained quickly. Early Saturday afternoon, this same fire crew noticed more smoke 200 feet below them, and moved to begin containing the new fire.
The Tolo Fire, which was started by a separate lightning strike, was burning in small and limited pockets on rock ledges of a cliff at 4000 feet on Tolo Mountain. Late Sunday afternoon a burning snag fell off one of the cliff ledges and dispersed fire into a steep and heavily wooded area below the cliff. The fire has since begun spreading to the surrounding areas. As of noon, the fire is about 108 acres in size, but is expected to grow this afternoon. The fire is burning in very steep, rocky and dangerous terrain in a mixed conifer forest. In addition to the North Cascades National Park Fire Crew, smokejumpers from the Methow Valley were flown into the Stehekin airstrip Monday morning.
Because of the steep and rocky terrain with high danger of rolling and falling debris, air support will be an important tool. An air tanker has begun dropping fire retardant this afternoon, and one light helicopter is conducting water drops. A medium helicopter will also arrive tomorrow to assist with water drops. Fire management is now in the process of seeking additional resources. Tolo Mountain is located west of the Stehekin River between High Bridge and Bridge Creek camps approximately 15 miles up-Valley from the Stehekin Landing.
All businesses in Stehekin are open and are not affected by this fire. No trails or camps in North Cascades National Park Service Complex, which includes Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, or the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have been affected by this fire. Smoke can be seen up-valley from Stehekin, but air quality in Stehekin is good.
Two small fires on Agnes Mountain in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the Lower Agnes Fire and the Upper Agnes Fire, were also started by the same lightning storm. Firefighters from the NPS and the USFS worked together to fully contain and control both fires by Sunday afternoon.
Did You Know?
The North Cascades are well known for the abundant waterfalls that lace the mountains. Two of the best known waterfalls are Gorge Falls between Newhalem and Diablo along State Route 20 and Rainbow Falls in the Stehekin Valley.