Brush fire closes I-90 in central Washington for hours

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Fire Vantage

VANTAGE — Late Tuesday evening near Vantage in Kittitas County, fire crews worked to contain a brush fire that burned mostly in dry grass and brush in between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-90.

On the shoulder of the west bound lanes was the origin of the fire — a burned-out mobile home.

It caught fire and was destroyed along with a pickup truck it was towing.

Then the fire spread to the surrounding area.

I-90 was shut down in both directions for several hours while firefighters tried to contain the blaze.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

“It’s very, very dry here and we’re experiencing conditions here in the second week of July that we normally would not experience until the last week of August,” firefighter Rick Acosta said.

Just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, a new wildfire erupted on the Yakima Firing Center, a military installation near the Yakima/Kittitas County lines.

No one is sure yet how it started.

The good news is the area is desolate and no homes are in jeopardy.

“Middle of July till the middle of September we’re going to be seeing a lot of brush fires. We have this dry weather, very low humidity,” Kent Fire Captain Kyle Ohashi said.

The other danger is on the west side of the Cascades; grass fires along roads can start easily, burn quickly and put homes and cars at risk.

But, they are easily avoided with just a little common sense.

“Don’t throw burning material out of your car. Cigarettes are the number one cause of these kinds of fires and we see it all the time. Everyone sees people throwing cigarettes out of their windows,”  Ohashi said.

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