Cause unclear in series of brush fires in Marysville that closed I-5

The fires, spreading along northbound I-5, backed up traffic for at least 7 miles Tuesday. More than 100 firefighters responded.

Traffic cameras on Tuesday showed heavy smoke and flames at separate fires in dry grass right along the freeway, near the exits to 144th and 156th streets NE. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

Traffic cameras on Tuesday showed heavy smoke and flames at separate fires in dry grass right along the freeway, near the exits to 144th and 156th streets NE. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

MARYSVILLE — After multiple brush fires along I-5 in Marysville closed lanes during rush hour Tuesday night, the cause remained unclear Wednesday, fire officials said.

At least a dozen fire trucks — engines, tenders, aid units and command vehicles — initially responded around 4:45 p.m., amid reports that as many as six fires threatened industrial buildings along Smokey Point Boulevard. Ultimately, over 100 firefighters responded to the scenes.

Around 5 p.m., traffic cameras showed heavy smoke and flames at separate fires in dry grass right along the freeway, near the exits to 144th and 156th streets NE.

The burned area quickly spread to roughly 16 acres due to high winds, Marysville Fire District spokesperson Christie Veley said Tuesday.

Neighbors reportedly assisted the firefighters with garden hoses and buckets of water to protect the threatened businesses. After about three hours, the City of Marysville reported the fires had been contained. The largest was reported to be about 8 acres.

Meanwhile, traffic backed up as long as 7 miles, according to the state Department of Transportation. Drivers were isolated to one lane for hours.

Northbound lanes closed for about 15 minutes at the height of the fires, and for hours, traffic crawled through the scene. At least one fire was moving south along the north lane. Train tracks in the area were still shut down into the evening.

Firefighters requested a “strike team” to help battle the flames. State troopers and the state Department of Natural Resources responded. DNR deployed three engines and two air units, agency spokesperson Thomas Kyle-Milward said.

Smokey Point Boulevard, between 136th and 156th streets NE, was also shut down, said Connie Mennie, city spokesperson for Marysville. Mennie said it was “very” smoky in town and some businesses had to close.

Around 10 p.m., the fires were out, Veley said. Just after 10:30 p.m., all lanes opened. Crews flagged the burnt area for potential hotspots and continued to monitor them overnight. Two spots flared up around 6 a.m., but firefighters extinguished the flames quickly.

No injuries were reported, Veley said. Three buildings sustained “minor” damage from the fires, with costs reportedly totaling less that $10,000.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read