GEORGE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a 17-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Grant County reopened in both directions Tuesday after being closed during a brush fire Monday.
Washington State Patrol troopers tweeted that the roadway reopened at 10 a.m. Tuesday as the fire is 40 percent contained.
A spokesman with the Grant County sheriff’s office said Tuesday morning that the fire has burned up to 900 acres and did not grow rapidly overnight. Kyle Foreman says hundreds of firefighters are on scene. No new evacuation notices have been issued. About 50 homes were briefly evacuated Monday.
A trailer full of hay burned on the road next to I-90. No injuries have been reported.
The brush fire started Sunday night and reignited Monday afternoon, closing the interstate between Vantage and near the town of George, Washington.
It was frustrating for drivers who crossed the Columbia River, and found themselves stranded. They couldn’t see the fire, so they didn’t know why the highway was closed.
“I don’t even know what this is,” said Tyler Kumma, who was trying to get to Idaho. “I’ve had to gather information from other people pulled over.”
He was surprised to hear a fire could have this big of an impact.
“My family comes out here every summer for, we go to the lakes. We’ve never had this before.”
Officials say they don’t know if they’ve ever had a fire season like this before.
“It certainly feels way worse,” said Foreman. “This is the third large fire in Grant County in the past three weeks. Firefighters are very weary.”