I was on my way to Hermiston Saturday afternoon when I saw the smoke.

Heading to the Hermiston Super Oval for the Saturday night races, we came across the large brush fire on Interstate 82 south of Kennewick. About 90 minutes earlier, a mini-van caught fire from unknown causes.  The unidentified woman driver and three dogs in the vehicle escaped, but the fire triggered a 150-acre fire that took hours to bring under control.

The smoke was easily visible from Kennewick and across the river in Hermiston, It was finally extinguished around 5 p.m. My wife Angela snapped these pictures as we rolled past. The fire in one area was burning right up to the edge of the road and in some places appeared to have scored the newly-oiled shoulder!

Fire officials say hotter-than-usual weather over much of the last week has created drier than normal conditions. Northwest fire officials say this summer could be a busy fire season due to temperatures, weather and dry conditions.