Traffic was at a complete standstill for hours on Interstate 495 near River Road after an RV caught fire.
The Capital Beltway was closed both ways between Maryland Route 190/River Road and the I-270 Spur for about three hours Saturday evening after the camper burst into flames, Maryland State Police said.
All lanes had reopened by about 8:10 p.m.
A spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire said firefighters were called to the RV fire about 5 p.m. He said the fire started in the vents and spread to the RV's propane tanks. It took about an hour and a half to put out the fire.
Nearly the entire camper was scorched, and a giant chunk of the back of the RV was gone by the time firefighters extinguished the blaze. No one was injured, and the people in the RV made it out, fire officials said.
A traffic map from the Maryland Department of Transportation website showed the backup stretch from the I-270 Spur all the way down to Old Dominion Drive in the McLean area of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Photos posted to social media showed plumes of smoke in the sky and a gridlock of cars. Tired of waiting, many people got out of their cars. Some drivers and passengers made the best of the situation by sitting on top of their vehicles, walking their dogs and playing catch.