CUSTER, Wash. - Evacuation orders have been lifted and the crude oil fire is out in Whatcom County a day after a BNSF train derailed and caught fire north of Bellingham.
Investigators were able to get closer to the scene Wednesday morning and are working to determine what happened and why. Officials are giving an update at 11 a.m. Wednesday. You can watch it live in the video player above.
The 108-car train was carrying crude oil to the Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale when seven cars derailed in the Custer-Grandview area around 11:45 a.m. Two of those went up in flames and sent a billow of black smoke into the air.
The fire burned through the night and was out by Wednesday morning. A long list of agencies responded to the scene, including fire brigades from the nearby Phillips 66 and BP refineries.
It's still unclear how many people in the area had to be evacuated. Residents had to show proof of address to return to their homes.
BNSF spokesperson Courtney Wallace said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Several agencies, including the FBI, are working to figure out "what happened and why," Whatcom County Sheriff Elfo said. No injuries have been reported.
The state Department of Ecology is on scene monitoring air quality and investigating potential environmental impacts.
The fire was large enough to close I-5 in both directions in the area for about an hour. Grandview at Portal Way and Main Street at Portal Way near Custer remain closed until further notice.