Firefighters still mopping up I-5 brush fire in SeaTac area

SEATAC, Wash. -- Firefighters spent Thursday mopping up a brush fire along I-5 where flames threatened homes and an apartment building on Wednesday.

The hot and dry weather is prime for wildfires, and we’re not out of danger yet, according to firefighters.

Kent firefighters pumped water onto the scorched ground along I-5 throughout the day.

August is the peak for wildfire season in our area.  This week’s hot, dry weather could mean more fires are likely to spark.

We’ve had a few days of high temps, low humidity, we’ve had a lot of steady breeze going on,” said Kent Regional Fire Authority’s Capt. Kyle Ohashi. “That’s drying out the grasses out here and making them prime for any spark to ignite them.”

Several brush fires broke out late Wednesday afternoon, pumping smoke and ash into the air and threatening water towers and homes.

“The grass was nice and dry; if it were to catch right there ... (it could) easily leap over,” said homeowner Layla Estill. “Obviously it’s dry season, nobody’s cleaned their gutters or anything.”

Estill lives right across the street from the I-5 fire. She said all that she and her neighbors could do was grab a garden hose and hope for the best.

“As we were doing that, we could literally hear the fire getting louder,” she said.

Firefighters said homeowners need to maintain a defensible space around structures by removing any dead plants and keeping grass trimmed to no taller than four inches.

“If you’ve got tree limbs that have fallen or that are dead near your home, get rid of those as well,” Ohashi added.

Estill said she now knows how fast brush fires can grow in the summer heat. She said she is thankful firefighters knocked Wednesday’s fire down before her home got burned.

“It could have been my house, that could have been bad.”

Burn bans are in effect for all state DNR lands. Burn bans are also happening in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Firefighters are asking for help. Anyone who sees fire or smoke is asked to call 911 immediately.