I-90 reopens between Ellensburg, Vantage; wildfire continues to burn

VANTAGE, Wash. — A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 that was closed in both directions between Ellensburg and Vantage has reopened after an overnight wildfire forced residents in the small Central Washington town of Vantage to evacuate.

>> PHOTOS: Vantage wildfire forces residents from homes

The interstate opened at about 12:13 p.m. Tuesday.

The Ryegrass Coulee Fire started at about 11 p.m. Monday and burned a 4.5 mile stretch north and south of I-90.

It's estimated to be more than 1,000 acres and is 0 percent contained, but only one small structure had been lost, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue Chief John Sinclair said at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Sinclair said fire crews were battling 60 mph winds overnight and the fire had destroyed about 400 guardrail posts on I-90.

"Right now, we're focused on trying to stop forward progress of the fire and we haven’t been able to do that yet," Sinclair said.

He said that once aircraft could be brought in to help fight the fire, they hoped to get the fire's edges contained.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Brian Moore said that six strike teams from both sides of the state would be helping fight the fire.

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