A brush fire on 395 near the Blue Bridge stalled traffic on 240 from the bridge all the way back to Richland on Wednesday.

Frustrated drivers reported there was no obvious reason for the slowing on 240. This followed a similar traffic jam caused by a similar fire on Monday.

Fire experts are predicting a troublesome spike in fires this summer because of the unusually wet spring in the Mid Columbia. Weeds are growing ferociously right now thanks to the moisture and when they complete their life cycle and die in the hotter months, the tall, thick weeds will be easy to spark into flames.

A cigarette thrown from a window is enough to snarl traffic for miles. Local authorities believe an arson was intentionally starting fires along 240 two summers ago.

Traffic jam
Maciej Korzekwa

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