Wildfires Burn Across the West Creating Snow-Like Clouds
Crystal Mountain, Washington’s largest ski resort, is currently under evacuation due to fire danger in the surrounding area.
On Labor Day, September 4th, Crystal Mountain took to their Twitter account to announce that they were closed due to smoke and poor air quality from The Norse Peak fire.
@CrystalMT: We are closed today due to smoke and poor air quality from the Norse Peak fire. We are under a level 1 evacuation. Stay tuned for updates.
The Norse Peak fire has burned more than 19,000 acres, and the huge plumes of smoke and ash prompted Crystal Mountain to close.
Then in the evening of Labor Day, the situation escalated quickly, and county officials told everyone to leave.
@CrystalMT: The fire has crossed the ridge and we are under a level 3 evacuation. Please leave the area immediately.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 5th, Crystal offered another update.
@CrystalMT: The fire is still active and everyone has been evacuated. Firefighters are pulling out and will assess the situation in the morning.
With the fire still raging in the early hours of Tuesday, the status of the nearby structures was unclear, but fortunately at this time, it doesn’t appear that anyone or any buildings have been damaged.
@CrystalMT: No structural damage anywhere at this time. The smoke is thick, fire is spotty. Firefighters have returned to determine defense tactics.
The Greenwater Fire Fighters Association who is actively working the fire, recently posted this update:
The section of fire that broke out above the cabins is an extension of the Norse Peak fire that is separate from the extension that caused us to withdraw from Crystal. The Crystal extension has currently lessened its intensity, and we are currently back at Crystal assessing whether to continue structure protection operations. There does not appear to be any structure damage thus far, but we will do a complete assessment at daylight, and monitor the fire above the cabins.
With multiple fires burning, Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency for all of Washington.
Wildfires are also raging all across Idaho, Montana, and Los Angeles, California.
Smoke from these fires is wafting into many places, and the ominous skies look like potential snow clouds, but instead, are hazey reminders of the fiery frenzies that continue to burn.
Our thoughts are with all of those working to control these blazes. We'll update this story as we know more.