Hay Truck Ablaze Along I-90 Near Ritzville

RITZVILLE — A hay truck caught fire on Interstate 90 about 18 miles east of Ritzville late Friday afternoon, and it set some grass along the freeway ablaze in the process.

The fire, first reported at 5:44 p.m., now has one eastbound lane of the freeway blocked. The fire burned not only the truck but approximately 12-15 acres of hillside next to the freeway.

The other eastbound lane and both westbound lanes reopened around 9:10 p.m.  The hay had to be spread out on the freeway so it was completely extinguished, causing the delay in reopening the highway.

WSP says a man and his two sons were driving the truck when an ambulance, which saw the beginnings of the fire, signaled for them to pull over.  When they did, the winds quickly spread the fire to the rest of the load and the truck.  The ambulance driver tried to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher, but quickly realized it was fruitless.

The driver of the truck, his two sons and the ambulance driver were not hurt.  The truck and all of its contents were a total loss.

Traffic was backed up in both directions of I-90 for at least five miles.