News briefs: Highway 112 to stay closed through Wednesday morning … and other items

News items for the North Olympic Peninsula.

PORT ANGELES — State Highway 112 will remain closed to all traffic east of Pysht through 4 a.m. Wednesday, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

Progress to replace a culvert that carries Joe Creek under the highway has been slower than anticipated, and the previous reopening date of Monday has been extended, according to a news release.

A portion of the highway has been closed since Sept. 8.

Local access is maintained up to about 100 feet on both sides of Joe Creek, at which point the highway is closed to all traffic, including emergency responders.

Motorists are being detoured around the closure via state Highway 113 and U.S. Highway 101.

Once Highway 112 reopens to traffic, motorists might still encounter daytime single-lane closures with alternating traffic.

Crews have successfully removed the old culvert, which posed a barrier for fish, and placed the new one. Work left to be completed includes placing remaining fill over the culvert and resurfacing the highway.

Election forum

PORT TOWNSEND — An election forum will take place Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St.

The event is being organized by The Jefferson County League of Women Voters, the Port Townsend branch of the American Association of University Women and the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, according to a news release.

Candidates for the Jefferson Public Utility District board, Barney Burke and Jeff Randall, and candidates for Jefferson County commissioner, Kate Dean and Tim Thomas, will attend to answer questions from the community.

For more information, call Sheila Murphy, league chair, at 360-531-1221.

Burn ban lifted

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources has lifted the burn ban on outdoor burning on state lands in western Washington.

Fall weather conditions west of the Cascades prompted the ban to be lifted, effective today.

Fire danger is rated low in Clallam and Jefferson counties, according to the fire danger map at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-firerisk.

The burn ban east of the Cascades has been eased in order to allow campfires in campfire pits in designated campgrounds only.

County burn bans might still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington, and residents should check with local fire districts for information.

If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities. Also, check with them on any campfire restrictions that might be in place.

The burn ban east of the Cascades will run through Sept. 30. It does not include federally-owned land.

Potluck dinner

SEQUIM — The Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society will meet at the Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A potluck dinner is planned for 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m.

Dr. Jim Karr, professor emeritus of aquatic and fisheries sciences at the University of Washington, will present “Hoatzins and Harpies: Birding the Amazon.”

Karr is an expert on tropical birds and a lifelong naturalist and teacher. He spent many years studying forest birds in Central and South America, including a stint as deputy director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Bring a dish to share as well as a plate and utensils.

The program is free and open to the public.

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