CHOKEPOINTS

SR 99 north in Seattle reopens after major brush fire closed it for hours

Jul 9, 2024, 5:57 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2024, 12:06 pm

Image: SR 99 north in Seattle was closed due to a massive fire on Tuesday, July 9, 2024....

SR 99 north in Seattle was closed due to a massive fire on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Image courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation)

(Image courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation)

All lanes on State Route 99 (SR 99) north at the 1st Avenue Bridge in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood reopened early Wednesday after the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) put out a large fire in the area Tuesday afternoon.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported in an X post at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday that the bridge had reopened as the incident was cleared.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, the WSDOT reported on X SR 99 north remained closed. It relayed he same closure message on X after 7 p.m. and and again at 9:22 p.m., adding “this is an extended closure with no ETA for reopening” at that time.

Traffic was being diverted off to the Michigan Street exit, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported on X Tuesday. WSDOT suggested, multiple times, that drivers use alternate routes and added that those in the area should expect delays.

The Seattle Department of Transportation also posted a photo of the fire on X before it was put out.

Seattle Fire Department summarizes its efforts

SFD provided an account of its fighting of the fire in a post on its Fireline blog, explaining that the first 911 calls about the brush fire came in at 4:38 p.m. Tuesday.

The firefighters who arrived on the scene, which was at 1st Avenue S. & E. Marginal Way S., next to SR 99, reported the fire spread to a nearby RV and several parked semitrucks with attached trailers.

Firefighters on the scene also reported smoke and flames impinging on high energy wires. Plus, at least three utility poles were knocked down. Complicating matters further, live wires were on the ground causing safety concerns for the crews on scene, the Fireline post states.

SFD went on to state that utility Seattle City Light shut down power to the utility poles but those within a 1/2 mile radius of those poles will be impacted and can expect to see outages. As of 9:25 p.m., Seattle City Light reported 211 customer outages. That is an improvement over the 568 outages the utility reported at 6:45 p.m. Most were in South Seattle.

Firefighters were quick to get water on the fire and within an hour the fire was out, SFD reported.

No injuries were reported, but the city agency explained that heavy smoke impacted visibility for drivers along SR 99.

Six fire engines and two ladder trucks responded with a total of 27 personnel, SFD said.

The Fireline post concluded by stating the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, or email him here.

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