Wildfire closes parts of Highway 9 east of Mount Vernon
Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Herald
A Washington State Department of Natural Resources helicopter drops water Thursday morning on a two-acre fire on Big Rock east of Mount Vernon. The popular local hiking destination caught fire early Thursday morning. The steep terrain made access difficult, so the DNR called in a helicopter and bucket from Ellensburg. Firefighters were building a fireline on the less treacherous west side of the hill.
The Skagit Valley Herald reported that no homes were threatened and cool, damp weather was assisting firefighters.
The Big Rock fire is named for a 500-foot-high local landmark, which is popular spot for hiking and mountain bikers, although it is not technically open to the public.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources said the two-acre fire was burning in trees on rocky, steep terrain.
Fire officials have not determined the cause but suspect it might have started with a campfire.
To facilitate firefighting, Highway 9 was closed at times on Thursday. A helicopter dropped water on the hillside.
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