SUMNER, Wash. — A wind-whipped wildfire on State Route 167 at State Route 410 near Sumner caused the highways to shut down in both directions for several hours Monday night.
The fire, which started around 7:30 p.m., burned on the north end of Sumner.
The fierce flames of the wildfire burned on both sides of the freeway.
The fire sent embers in every direction that were caught in powerful winds and created a hazard for people driving through the area.
The strong, dry wind caused the fire to spread quickly, making it hard for firefighters to keep up with the flames.
The area was gridlocked with traffic for more than three hours.
State troopers rerouted traffic.
Because the wind was so powerful, power lines were knocked down, as well as trees, leaving streets littered with debris.
Most of Sumner and the surrounding areas were left without power.
At one point, more than 62,000 homes were without power, officials with Puget Sound Energy said.
A warehouse in the 4300 block of West Valley Highway was also evacuated due to the impending fire.
The extremely dry conditions created a tenuous and dangerous situation with the possibility of a fire starting again in the high winds, KIRO 7 was told.
The fire near Sumner was not the only fire burning in the state. The Department of Natural Resources said almost 300,000 acres were burned statewide, forcing many families to evacuate their homes.
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