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Firefighters snuff I-5 grass fires near fairgrounds

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Published: August 6, 2010, 12:00am
2 Photos
Volunteer firefighter Tyler Edwards, left, and Captain Ryan Berg, right, of Clark County Fire and Rescue extinguish one of a series of grass fires that broke out before 10 a.m. Friday along northbound Interstate 5.  Morning clouds and coolness helped keep the blazes small.
Volunteer firefighter Tyler Edwards, left, and Captain Ryan Berg, right, of Clark County Fire and Rescue extinguish one of a series of grass fires that broke out before 10 a.m. Friday along northbound Interstate 5. Morning clouds and coolness helped keep the blazes small. Photo Gallery

Firefighters quickly snuffed a series of minor grass fires along Interstate 5 on Friday morning. They were apparently sparked by a passing motorist.

Crews from Clark County Fire & Rescue and Fire District 6 responded shortly before 10 a.m. to a string of small blazes on the east shoulder of northbound I-5, between the Northeast 179th Street (Clark County Fairgrounds) and 219th street interchanges (Battle Ground-Gee Creek rest area).

It appears “some metal thing dragging” from a passing vehicle set off the fires, said Dean Lange, battalion chief for Clark County Fire & Rescue.

The vehicle, not identified, apparently exited at the Gee Creek exit, Lange said.

The largest of the fires spread perhaps 30 or 40 feet up a dry, grassy freeway embankment, but all were quickly extinguished. The two fire companies used three fire engines and three brush rigs to mop up the scene. Northbound freeway traffic slowed but no lanes were closed, Lange said.

Some of the patch blazes fizzled quickly, thanks to the cool, overcast morning with high humidity, he said.

“Had this happened at 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock this afternoon, it would have been a whole ‘nother game,” Lange said.

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