Firefighters Continue to Investigate Suspicious Fires Burning Al - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Firefighters Continue to Investigate Suspicious Fires Burning Along Highway 240

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NBC Right Now is working to learn more about the alarmingly high number of fires sparking in the median of Highway 240 in Kennewick. NBC Right Now is working to learn more about the alarmingly high number of fires sparking in the median of Highway 240 in Kennewick.
KENNEWICK, WA. - NBC Right Now is working to learn more about the alarmingly high number of fires sparking in the median of Highway 240 in Kennewick.

A Kennewick deputy fire marshal tells NBC Right Now there have now been 19 fires in the 240 median since July 25th. The most recent fire happened around Wednesday morning near the Edison exit.

The cause of these fires is unknown and almost zero evidence has been found that could show crews how they are starting.

While people throwing cigarettes out of their vehicles is a probable cause, those investigating say there's just been too many in a short time for that to be the only problem.

"To have 19 caused by that one ignition source doesn't seem very probable so we don't know if there's a number of different things that are going on here. People have reported sparks coming off of a car," said Joe Terpenning, Deputy Fire Marshal with the Kennewick Fire Department.

As part of the investigation crews do controlled tests on the brush using different ignition sources like cigarettes to see if they can in fact spark fires on their own. Cigarettes did seem to ignite when they were fanned by the gusts of passing cars driving by.

Since the fires began there have been two related car crashes when traffic has to slow. On Tuesday emergency crews had to use extraction tools to pry the car open and get people out.
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