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July 14, 2014 at 5:42 AM

Overnight brush fire causing large backup on Interstate 5

UPDATE 7:55 a.m. |Firefighters will likely be on the scene of the brush fire most of the morning, spraying any remaining hot spots, said Don Barberie of the Kent Fire Department, the lead agency on the fire.

The fire, reported by motorists, broke out shortly before midnight and ran about 200 yards along the side of the road.

Barberie said the fire was contained at 1:30 a.m., but continued to burn through the night.

Fire crews from Kent and Federal Way assisted. Barberie said the Port of Seattle and Boeing sent “crash trucks” that carry a lot of water and can spray it a great distance.

“There are no fire hydrants out along the freeway, so we were shuttling water,” Barberie.

He said the fire burned through dry grasses and small trees, but no structures were burned and no injuries were reported.

Just before 8 a.m., the backup on I-5′s northbound lanes was five miles long and slowly beginning to dissipate.

UPDATE 7:15 a.m. |  The backup is now nine miles long along northbound Interstate 5 approaching SeaTac.

All but one lane has reopened, but the backup is not expected to end soon, due to of the volume of traffic built up.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Allende said it currently takes 80 minutes to get from Federal Way to SeaTac, which usually takes 15 minutes.   It is taking about an hour and a half to get from Federal Way to either Seattle or Bellevue.  In normal traffic, getting from Federal Way to Seattle takes about 35 minutes, Allende said.

“We’re trying to send people to other routes, but those are getting pretty jammed now, too,” he said.

The brush fire is out, but fire crews are still in the area to check hot spots.

Previous post: | A brush fire overnight is out, but it’s still causing a traffic headache this morning as commuters drive past the charred area along I-5.

The backup was seven miles long by 6:30 a.m. according to the state Department of Transportation.

The late night fire near South 188th Street in SeaTac blocked several lanes of the freeway northbound while it burned last night.

As of 5:30 a.m., two right lanes south of Southcenter were still blocked due to the fire.

Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: brush fire, commute, SeaTac

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