First snow of the season falls in mountains

Snow returns to the mountains for the first time this season, to the delight of many.

A few days ago, we were dealing with historically high temperatures, no precipitation and the poorest air quality in the world.

Now the air has cleared and snow is falling once again in the mountains.

What a difference a few days makes.  From smoky, dry air to this weather, with precipitation of all kinds. Fall, it appears, is finally here.

It is a sight for our smoke-weary eyes, with ever-so-light snow falling on Stevens Pass.

It was a nice surprise for Maria and Marco Zuarez, who left their Woodinville home not knowing what they’d find.

“And my husband say(s), ‘Let’s go and drive and see what we can see,’” she said. “So, and then we saw this. It’s so beautiful. This is the first time we see it like this. We usually come in January, but it’s so beautiful.”

Then there is the air.

“It’s been terrible until yesterday,” said Tom Beales of Bothell. “Yeah, it’s been really bad. So, we just got out of town to enjoy the fresh air.”

Drone 7 captured the smoky skies that covered Highway 2 and beyond like a dirty blanket for much of this week.

The Bolt Creek Fire had chewed through more than 14,000 acres in five bone-dry weeks, with low humidity, high temperatures and easterly winds pushing the foul air far beyond its borders.

Marcia DeRuiter, a nurse from Baring, said that she knows the hazards of being in the thick of it.

“The smoke is not good for people to be breathing that smoke,” said DeRuiter. “It gets in their lungs and causes lots of issues.”

The signs of the wildfire damage are still there, coming uncomfortably close, in some spots, to Highway 2, with much of this area off-limits since the fire started on Sept. 10.

The precipitation and the shifting westerly winds are a reminder of what October is usually like in western Washington.

“It’s awesome,” said Beales. “It’s nice. It’s coming. Fall is here, right?”

Indeed, it is.

However, we both saw smoke coming from some burning timbers along Highway 2.

So, we will need still more rain and some snow.

But so far, no one is complaining.