The Washington State Patrol says it appears a string of fires along I-5 in Snohomish County have been deliberately set.

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Update at 4:01 p.m.:

The State Patrol says they’re working on identifying the potential Snohomish County arson suspects after finding a possible fingerprint on a road flare.

Update 2:23 p.m.

The Washington State Patrol now says it appears the string of fires along I-5 in Snohomish County have been deliberately set.

Troopers are looking for two men in a Hyundai Sonata. The men are believed to be white, in their 50s and with light-colored hair, according to Trooper Heather Axtman. The men apparently used flares to set the fires, she said.

Axtman said that a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy spotted the men and the Sonata at milepost 218. The driver, who is believed to be in his 50s, was trying to set the brush on fire with a road flare when the deputy pulled up. The man got into the car and sped off with a passenger, described as a slightly older man.

“We believe these fires were intentionally set,” Axtman.

Update 2:04 p.m.:

The State Patrol is investigating whether the fires are being deliberately set. The string of brush fires along southbound I-5 stretches from Marysville up to the Stanwood exit.

“At this point we don’t have an official cause, but if someone sees something suspicious to call 911,” said State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Heather Axtman.


Update at 1:58 p.m.:

The state Department of Transportation says traffic is backed about eight miles as a result of the brush fires along southbound I-5.

Update 1:43 p.m.

A series of brush fires near Marysville resulted in the brief shutdown of all southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

The Washington Department of Transportation has now reported seeing another fire on the shoulder of the northbound lanes, near Arlington.

“The fires are heading north. It’s bizarre,” said Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Heather Axtman.

The cause of the fires is not known.

Update 1:20 p.m.:

The State Patrol says a semi-truck became “fully engulfed” in flames in Marysville. That fire is now out.

Trooper Heather Axtman said the flames are heading toward the fuel pumps and main building at Donna’s Truck Stop, 3104 116th St. N.E.

Axtman said it’s unclear whether the burning semi is connected to a series of brush fires along I-5.

Original Post:

A series of brush fires have broken out along Interstate 5 near Marysville.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Heather Axtman said that  up to eight fires have broken out between mile post 197 and the Snohomish River Bridge, a nearly three-mile stretch on southbound I-5.

There is a several-mile traffic backup because of the fires and because fire crews are blocking lanes, Axtman said. The two right lanes are blocked, leaving only the left lane open.

Axtman said she does not know the cause of the fires.

The state Department of Transportation is recommending motorists avoid the area.

This post will be updated.