Hay fire shuts down Highway 14

Cause of the blaze thought to be hot exhaust pipe

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze after a truck carrying hay caught on fire on Aug. 20 at Highway 14 in Washougal.

A hay truck fire that closed down both lanes of Highway 14 near the Pendleton Woolen Mills on Aug. 20 is likely due to a mechanical issue.

According to Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart, a hot exhaust pipe from the engine may have ignited the hay, based on observations at the scene.

“We do not know the precise cause of the fire and, in fact, we likely will never know, simply because the truck was destroyed,” he said.

According to witnesses at the scene, motorists on Highway 14 spotted a truck carrying a load of hay that was on fire just before 3 p.m.

A call to 911 came in shortly afterward, and firefighters worked to douse the hay fire with water as a backhoe loader also worked to put the fire out.

Both lanes of Highway 14 were closed in both directions and rerouted until approximately 4:30 p.m. The highway fully re-opened to traffic at 7:30 p.m.

There were no injuries. No other buildings or vehicles were involved in the blaze.

Approximately 20 firefighters from the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, East County Fire & Rescue, and Vancouver Fire Department were on scene.