Much of the Puget Sound area awoke to gray skies and ash falling like snow today, with wildfires all around the state bringing air quality to potentially unhealthy levels.

One of those fires, the Norse Peak Fire, has led to closure to part of Mount Rainier National Park. Effective immediately, the park has closed its northeast portion due to the unpredictable behavior of the Norse Peak Fire, which is currently burning outside the park’s east boundary.

Currently the Sunrise Road is closed between the junction with SR 410 near White River and Sunrise. The portions of SR 410 to Cayuse Pass and SR 123 within the park are open.

Backcountry closures include all of the trails and cross country zones on the east side of the park including the area from Frozen Lake to Panhandle Gap, and all of the trails with trailheads along SR 410 and SR 123 north of Stevens Canyon Entrance. Hikers in the closed area will be contacted when possible.

The park has issued a Level 2 advisory for the White River Campground. Campers have been encouraged to leave the campground and advised that they should be packed and ready to go in the event of a mandatory evacuation.