U.S. Highway 12 remains closed over White Pass because of the Cold Creek Fire, which was at 170 acres with no containment Wednesday evening.

The fire was discovered about 6 miles east of the summit on Monday night. The fire is burning on both sides of Highway 12, primarily to the south, but there are spot fires to the north. The fire is along the area of Highway 12 between Dog Lake and Clear Lake. The cause is under investigation.

Forest Service spokesperson Heather Appelhof said the fire activity was moderate as it moved mostly north through timber and brush deeper into the wilderness on Wednesday. More than 85 firefighters were on scene Wednesday with more expected overnight and into Thursday morning.

Appelhof said smoke cleared enough to allow two helicopters to fly and dump water onto the fire for the first time. Firefighters hope to establish some level of containment by Thursday with a chance of thunderstorms capable of gusty winds forecast on the north side of the fire Friday afternoon.

The fire is not threatening any structures, officials said. A Level 2 (be set) notice covers 130-150 homes around Rimrock and Clear lakes, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. People should make preparations to leave. Most of the residences are cabins.

Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario said up to 50 single residences and 70 other minor structures are considered to be near the fire.

Summer camps in the area have been contacted and closed, the Sheriff’s Office said. Camp Dudley’s Facebook page said a helicopter and other firefighters were doing “an amazing job” to keep the camp safe.

The Forest Service asked the public to stay out of the area west of Clear Lake and said roads and trails will be closed for public safety.

Highway update

Highway 12 will remain closed Wednesday night, with another update expected Thursday morning.

The Forest Service plans to evaluate the closures of Highway 12 and Tieton Road with the recognition that more people will want to travel to the area for hunting and recreation this weekend, Appelhof said.

Eastbound traffic is stopped 13 miles west of the summit near milepost 138 at the junction of Highway 12 and State Route 123. Westbound traffic is stopped at milepost 183, Oak Creek, two miles west of the junction of State Route 410.

Only those with homes in the area east of the summit will be allowed access past Oak Creek. Appelhof said it’s important to keep those roads clear in case homeowners need to evacuate.{span class=”print_trim”}

Vehicles can access State Route 123 but it’s not recommended for large commercial trucks. A separate closure of State Route 410 eastbound and westbound from 323rd Avenue SE (milepost 29) to 583rd Avenue E (milepost 43) also could affect travel closer to the Enumclaw area.

For more information, follow Yakima Valley Emergency Management, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service-Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest pages on Facebook, and Inciweb.