Finley truck fire spreads to vegetation along SR 397

FINLEY, Wash. — A commercial truck fire on Monday afternoon along SR 397 near E. Bowles Road spread to nearby brush, causing a string of fires that scorched roadside land in Benton County.

According to Captain Ron Fryer of Benton County Fire District No. 1, the semi was heading through Finley toward Kennewick on 397. Authorities say that the vehicle had bad brakes, which caused smoke to emit from wheels. The driver pulled off to the side of the road, where sparks caused a few brush fires in the area.

Crews from Benton County Fire District No. 1 contained the brush fires as Kennewick fire crews arrived to help put out the truck fire. All fires are currently contained and clean-up efforts will last into the evening. Capt. Fryer says that roughly two acres were impacted overall.

RELATED: Brush fire near I-82/U.S. 395 is contained, damaged approx. 10 acres

Given the current weather conditions and high risk of fire danger, the likelihood of vegetation fires is much higher than usual.

“The grass out there is like gasoline,” Capt. Fryer said. “One little spark and you’re off to the races.”

He says that community members need to think ahead and be ‘fire wise’ during wildfire season.

Fire crews were on the scene putting out hot spots among a grove of trees, taking down some of the burned trees, and cutting them up with chainsaws.

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