ENUMCLAW, Wash. (KING) — Exactly two weeks after flames and smoke forced the evacuation of Crystal Mountain Resort, on Monday it was snow falling from the sky instead of ash.
It was a welcome sight for both firefighters and resort staff, who shared photos of the snow on social media.
The Norse Peak Fire prompted evacuations at the resort on September 4.
"I live up here, a lot of other employees live up here as well, and it was a scary time. For the last two weeks we've all been displaced. Just last night we were finally able to come home. They lifted the evacuation to a level two, which was a huge relief to all of us," said Anderson.
The fire also forced the resort to end its summer season two weeks early, which means two weeks of lost business.
That's another reason why Monday's snow is being celebrated: it could mean an earlier start to the winter season.
"Who knows, we could be skiing sooner than later. I don't want to jinx it. We have skied as early as the first of October, which is only a couple weeks away," said Anderson.
On Monday evening, the smell of smoke lingered in the air, and firefighters remained on scene at the Norse Peak Fire.
But Anderson said that the change in the weather seemed to improve air quality and lessen the fire danger almost right away.
"Pretty much immediately it started to clear the smoke out of the valley here," she said. "You could feel the air was much cleaner, crisper, see the smoke plumes were starting to get smaller."
Lighting started the Norse Peak fire back on August 11. Since then, its burned more than 56,000 acres. A Monday update said that firefighting efforts will continue. The update also said recent precipitation has helped and more is in the forecast, although the east side of the fire is expected to receive less rain than the west side.