Find Posts By Topic

Seattle City Light Providing Assistance as Sourdough Wildfire Continues to Grow

Seattle City Light is assisting in efforts to control the spread of the Sourdough wildfire in the North Cascades National Park Complex adjacent to its Skagit Hydroelectric Project near the towns of Diablo and Newhalem. The fire began Saturday, July 29, near the Sourdough Mountain trail as a result of a lightning strike. Over the course of the week, it grew slowly, but in the past 48-hour period, fire activity has increased to encompass 2,933 acres.

A multi-agency incident management team is coordinating firefighting and containment efforts with a focus on slowing the fire spread, protecting structures and preserving public safety. Crews are working on the ground and from the air, using scooper planes and helicopters on containment.

“I want to thank the hundreds of fire personnel, emergency management teams, first responders and City Light staff who are working tirelessly on the Sourdough wildfire efforts,” said Mike Haynes, Interim General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light. “It takes constant communication and coordination to tackle a rapidly evolving fire of this scale, and their ability to work under pressure is astounding.”

City Light started evacuating employees and residents on Thursday, August 3, from the town of Diablo. City Light also assisted with the evacuation of visitors and staff from the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake and the Ross Lake Resort as the fire approached. To date, no injuries have been reported and all precautions are being taken to ensure employee health and safety, including the distribution of personal protective equipment, air filtering systems, and more.

City Light staff are working to maintain operations and monitor infrastructure so that very little to no impacts of the fire will be experienced by customers. The Skagit Hydroelectric Project consists of three dams that supply up to 30% of Seattle’s power during the year.

The public is discouraged from visiting the area in order to allow fire personnel and first responders the ability to work safely without the added worry of visitor safety. Due to fire activity, state Route 20 between mileposts 120 and 156, Newhalem to Rainy Day Pass, is currently closed. All Skagit Tours are suspended until further notice. National Park Service (NPS) trail, area and camp closures are in effect. More information regarding NPS closures can be found here.

For updates on the Sourdough Mountain fire, please visit