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Updated: Truck fire becomes brush fire, I-5 south of Bellingham impacted

Scene of a brush fire following a vehicle fire on I-5 (July 27, 2023). Photo courtesy of South Whatcom Fire Authority

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the N Lake Samish Road and I-5 interchange about 2:50pm on Thursday, July 27th, due to reports of a truck on fire in the southbound lanes.

Soon after the initial dispatch, additional resources were requested for a brushfire in the same area.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported about 3:25pm that all southbound lanes of I-5 were blocked and alternate routes were recommended.

WSDOT said about 3:40pm that 1 lane had been reopened but the backup extended about 4 miles.

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Click for more information

Washington State Patrol Trooper Kelsey Harding told Whatcom News that a RAM 1500 pickup caught fire and pulled off to the side of the road. The fire spread to the underbrush.

As of 5pm, 1 lane was open but the southbound off-ramp and right lane remained closed according to Harding.

South Whatcom Fire Authority Fire Chief Mitch Nolze told Whatcom News they arrived to find the commercial utility truck fire had already spread to the brush. Department of Natural Resources was contacted and they took the scene. Nolze estimated the fire spread to an area of 300-feet by 300-feet. He added that no structures were threatened and no evacuation orders issued.

Readers are encouraged to stay up to date on local driving conditions via the Whatcom News Traffic page.

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