Highway 97 Closure Leads to Confusion
As crews continue to battle the “Mile Marker 28 Fire,” Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed indefinitely.
Officials from The Department Of Transportation say the stretch of highway sees about 3,500 vehicles per day and 25 percent of that traffic is freight related.
Zach Dorr, the CEO of the Toppenish Chamber of Commerce, says they’ve been getting a lot of “out-of-towners” and locals coming in with concerns about what alternate routes to take. Those drivers are also frustrated that the detours will likely add an extra two to three hours of travel time.
“Since they closed the road, we’ve probably had over 100 people in here coming through the doors, just asking for a reroute or if they could purchase a map,” said Dorr. “Or if I just had any advice on where to go. A lot of people saying that when they plug in their GPS, there’s really no alternate routes to take.”
The “Mile Marker 28 Fire” near Goldendale has now charred more than 20,000 acres, but crews said containment is also up at 25 percent.