Weekend Wildfire Forces Freeway Shutdown

SPOKANE — A wildfire that shut down part of I-90 west of Vantage has been extinguished but not before leaving some people concerned about the fire’s destructive fury as it headed east across the state.

The Washington State Patrol said the fire started in the freeway median just before 3 p.m. Sunday and the freeway wasn’t shut down for nearly an hour. People driving through the path of the wildfire were met with heavy traffic, zero visibility and flames burning up to the side of the road.

At one point witnesses said traffic stopped dead and an elderly couple u-turned around in the middle of the freeway and started driving the wrong way on the shoulder down the highway to get out of there.

The eastbound lanes were later closed for three-and-a-half hours as crews fought the fire. There’s no word yet on what started it.