I-90 has been reopened in both directions after the highway was closed on Sunday evening 11 miles west of George between the highway and the Columbia River due to a 1,000-acre wildfire in Grant County, Washington. The 1,000-acre wildfire consumed mostly grass and sagebrush, according to the Grant County Sheriff.
KOMO reported that the 1,000-acre wildfire in Washington began when a spark from a fire campers had made for a BBQ escaped and caught the nearby grass on fire. I-90 was closed “between George and the Vantage Bridge,” according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
CBS affiliate, KREM, reported that the fire for the BBQ was somewhere along the Columbia River. As it was an accidental fire, no criminal charges are expected to be filed against the campers who had the BBQ.
According to NBC News, in a tweet, Washington State Trooper Brian Moore said that the fire began at around 6 p.m. Level Two evacuations were in force, meaning campers and any residents in the area should either immediately leave or be ready to leave immediately, if necessary.
The Old Vantage Hwy camp area was evacuated, out of concern for the campers there. Deputies stated that all of the campers were safe and they informed residents in the area that they should either evacuate or be ready to evacuate, if the fire approached too closely to their houses. The wildfire was contained by 9:30 p.m.
Six fire agencies were at the scene of the 1,000-acre wildfire to get it under control. No injuries or fatalities have been reported in connection with the wildfire.
According to Grant County Sheriff Public Information Officer Kyle Foreman, when firefighters first got to the scene they estimated that the wildfire had spread to 1,000 acres in area. He added that as of 8:15 p.m., he had not been told if there was any update about how many acres were still on fire.
A tweet from Washington State Trooper Brian Moore said that by 11:24 p.m., I-90 was reopened in both directions. He added in the tweet that the fire would be monitored by police units on the scene throughout the night and mentioned that motorists should be cautious and slow down as they drive through the area.
I-90 in Washington had been closed 11 miles west of George between the highway and the Columbia River by an 1,000-acre wildfire reportedly caused by a spark that escaped from a fire campers had made to have a BBQ along the Columbia River. Six firefighting agencies responded to the scene to get the fire under control. The wildfire has now been contained enough that I-90 has been reopened in both directions.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Washington State Patrol