Two vehicles catch on fire, spark brush fires on I-90


A pair of vehicle fires on Interstate 90 disrupted traffic and ignited a pair brush fires Wednesday.

There were no injuries in either fire.

Shortly after 5 p.m., a westbound motorhome burst into flames about six miles west of Moses Lake.

“The driver immediately pulled over to the shoulder of the roadway and exited the vehicle,” said Trooper John Bryant of the Washington State Patrol. “The side of the roadway caught on fire as well, the brush., and it spread kind of quickly.”

Both a frontage road and the westbound freeway were closed for a short time, as well as the nearby Hiawatha on and off ramps.

Trooper John Bryant of the Washington State Patrol said what caused the older-model motorhome to catch fire is unclear.

Washington State Patrol photo

Less than two hours earlier and about 40 miles further west on I-90, a hay truck caught fire near Vantage.

That fire too spread into brush.

At the same time, fire crews were battling a separate brush fire nearby that burned about 75 acres and briefly threatened some structures.

Bryant said sometimes moisture builds up in a larger hay bale and it will spontaneously combust.

It’s happened before with hay trucks,” Bryant said. “They’re usually on that long run from Vantage, grinding up the hill toward Ryegrass. In this case this hay truck had a lot of big bales of hay, and it seems to happen with the larger bales of hay.

The front of the truck was completely destroyed in the fire.

The motorhome fire was the third recreational vehicle to go up in flames in Central Washington in the past week.

On Monday, a fifth-wheeler burst into flames on I-90 about seven miles west of Ellensburg. And last Friday, a motorhome pulling a trailer was destroyed in a fire near the summit of Blewett Pass on Highway 97.

“I’m scratching my head,” Bryant said. “Are there safety features people aren’t paying attention to?