The monotony of the evening commute was broken for many motorists this afternoon, as a series of mysterious grass fires broke out along I-5 southbound, severely reducing visibility and threatening a number of nearby trees.
The Aurora Fire District was dispatched at 6:14, with multiple reports of three to four separate fires along the shoulder of I-5, just south of the Donald/Aurora exit (278).
While en route, the incident was upgraded to a second alarm grass/brush fire due to multiple reports of the fires growing fast, including one from an Oregon State Police trooper.
Additional callers on I-5 began reporting that the fire was headed toward trees and fields rapidly. A report also came in that smoke was crossing the freeway, reducing visibility. The incident was then upgraded to a third alarm, bringing in additional fire engines, brush units and water tenders from multiple mutual aid agencies.
All crews were utilized to extinguish all four fires. Two lanes were closed for the safety of the firefighters. Crews used water and hand tools to extinguish the flames and contain the fire.
Assisting agencies included Canby Fire District, Woodburn Fire District, Hubbard Fire District, TVF&R, Oregon State Police and ODOT.
By 7:08, the fire was contained and extinguished. All lanes of I-5 are now open and clear.
The cause of the fires is still under investigation.
Aurora Fire and assisting agencies fight fire along I-5 near MP 277. pic.twitter.com/GrJqIs2Ckx
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!