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Multiple brush fires in Mason, Thurston counties may have been intentionally set

Multiple brush fires started along northbound I-5 and Highway 101 Wednesday afternoon. State troopers say the fires may have been intentionally set.

Crews rushed to contain a dozen brush fires along northbound I-5 and Hwy 101 between Tumwater and Shelton Wednesday afternoon. The Washington State Patrol is now investigating because they believe the fires may have been intentionally set.

There were six brush fires that started along northbound I-5 near the Scatter Creek Rest area and Trosper Road SW between 3 and 4 p.m. in Thurston County, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Robert Reyer.

Three additional fires broke out on northbound Hwy 101 between Black Lake Boulevard SW and Steamboat Island Road in Thurston County, Reyer said.

Three more fires started on Hwy 101 in Mason County between the Taylor Station Restaurant on SE Lynch Road and Shelton Matlock Road. The Mason County Sheriff's Office said those fires temporarily closed the northbound lanes of Hwy 101 near Shelton.

Most of the fires were contained as of 5:30 p.m., according to Reyer. He said no structures were damaged, but at one point, one of the fires was threatening some homes so a helicopter crew responded to dump water on the flames.

Reyer said it "appears" the fires could have been intentionally set. Witnesses described a black or blue "box truck style" SUV that troopers are currently looking for in connection with these brush fires. 

No license plate information was available. 

Brian Curtis works at Bid Venues, an auction house located just feet away from where the flames burned along I-5 in Tumwater.

"My immediate concern was that was where our vehicles were parked," Curtis said.

Curtis said he could not understand how someone would intentionally start a fire during drought conditions.

"It's obviously disappointing. I mean what's the point in that?" Curtis said.

Washington State Patrol is asking anyone who may have information on these fires to call 911.