Wildfire forces closures of I-90 near Four Lakes exit

August 6, 2018

A fast-moving brush fire has forced closures on Interstate 90 in both directions at milepost 265 near Cheney.

Trooper Jeff Sevigney, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, said one lane of westbound traffic from mile marker 270 to 265 is open, but he asked motorists to be cautious as fire personnel will be driving through the area. All lanes of eastbound traffic were closed as of 2 p.m. and traffic was diverted to Salnave Road and into Cheney.

The so-called Silver Lake fire, which was first reported at about 1 p.m., began near milepost 265 on the south side of the freeway and spread into at least four separate fires, said Cody Rohrbach, chief of Spokane County Fire District 3. As of about 2 p.m., he said the fire or fires had grown to 50-plus acres.

Rohrbach said the blaze had moved considerably to the east, almost up to milepost 270. It’s continuing to grow to the west and south, he said, where firefighters are holding it from spreading.

“It’s tried to jump to the north side of the freeway but we’re keeping it south currently,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of resources on scene right now.”

Jill Jones, a spokeswoman at Department of Natural Resource’s Northeast Washington Interagency Communication Center, said at about 2 p.m. that multiple area fire crews were still getting to the scene to assess the fire. She said aircrafts were also ordered to attack it from the air, including two fire boss airplanes.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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