Area where semi-tanker rolled in Fife still dangerous
I-5 through Fife is back to normal today, but with the high fire danger in Western Washington the scene of yesterday’s gasoline spill is still dangerous.
Washington State Trooper Todd Bartolac says a nearby homeless community in Fife is being factored into the fire risk.
“We actually have quite a homeless community that lives in that area,” Bartolac said. “And that’s one of the things we take into account. If someone lights a match or someone has a cigarette … if we don’t clean that ground up properly and safely, something could happen.”
Around 9:15 a.m. on Thursday a semi-truck hauling tanks of fuel overturned while trying to get onto I-5 from Port of Tacoma Road.
Though the truck crash was on an on-ramp, it shut down both directions of I-5 in Fife.
This is not on the freeway. It's from the Port of Tacoma to NB I5 on the ramp. I5 is being closed just for safety. pic.twitter.com/i003FwSERM
— Trooper T. Bartolac (@wspd1pio) August 18, 2016
Up to 3,000 gallons of gasoline spilled onto the ground. Buildings within about a half-mile of the crash were evacuated.
Crews currently assessing the extent of the fuel leak. pic.twitter.com/SkFidntqIm
— Tacoma Fire (@TacomaFire) August 18, 2016
I-5 finally reopened around noon, after a fuel truck pumped the remaining gas out of the tipped tankers.
Crews spent the night digging up the contaminated soil.
The freeway ramps finally reopened around 4:30 a.m. on Friday.
Fire danger in Western Washington is high this weekend. The National Weather Service reports temperatures will exceed 90 degrees Friday and Saturday. An Excessive Heat Watch is in effect for much of the Northwest through Saturday.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources says the increased heat and forecast wind make the next few weeks the most dangerous for fire this year.