Wildfire prompts closure of Interstate 90

Smoke billows into the sky above Interstate 90.

Credit: iFiberOne News
Smoke billows into the sky above Interstate 90.

— Interstate 90 is closed in both directions east of the Columbia River this afternoon as a wildfire devours dry grass and sage alongside the highway.

The interstate is closed from Milepost 138, at the junction of state Highway 26 on the east side of the Vantage Bridge, to Milepost 155, about five miles west of George, the state Department of Transportation said.

Local traffic can detour around the fire area through George using Road Q S.W., Frenchman Hills Road, R S.W. Road and Beverly Burke Road.

Traffic from other parts of the state is advised to detour through Wenatchee to the north or use Vernita Bridge, east of Sunnyside, to the south.

It's the second day in a row that stretch of the interstate has been affected by the growing wildfire. Today's closure began at 12:15 p.m.

Grant County officials have issued fire evacuation notices for residents near Silica Road as the fire moves toward the nearby town of George. Quincy Lakes area residents are also being asked to evacuate.

Yesterday, campers along Old Vantage Highway were evacuated as wind pushed the fire.

Grant County crews are fighting the fire near the Interstate 90-Silica Road interchange, Fire District No. 3 Chief Dan Fortier said. So far, there haven't been any injuries and all structures have been protected.

In addition to District No. 3, firefighters from Grand County districts Nos. 5, 8, 10, 11, 13 and Ephrata are fighting the fire. Two heltack teams are also assigned.

A Red Flag Warning, meaning conditions are right for extreme fire growth, remains in effect for the area through this evening.


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