Over 12 fires sparked along I-5 near Myrtle Creek by passing van

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. -- Firefighters are working to douse over a dozen small grass fires burning along Interstate 5 near Myrtle Creek Thursday night, Douglas County Fire Officials said.

Ray Shoufler with Douglas County Fire District 2 said a van heading northbound on I-5 started throwing sparks from a malfunctioning catalytic converter, igniting nearly 18 small fires along the interstate.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported some delays as smoke made for low visibility for a five mile stretch near Myrtle Creek (mileposts 101 to 116).

State Police pulled over the malfunctioning van at the top of Roberts Mountain, Shoufler said.

State Police placed a warning call to all homes within two miles off the interstate between milepost 101 and 116 to let them know about the fires. Police officials asked residents not to call 911 unless their house was threatened by fire.

This is a developing story, updates will be posted.