South Bay News

Highway 17 reopened after big rig fire

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Highway 17 has reopened in the Santa Cruz Mountains after a big-rig caught fire overnight. The fire in the Redwood Estates area started just after 10 p.m. in the truck's engine compartment and flames quickly spread to the brush and trees nearby along the southbound lanes.

The tank was full of cryogenic nitrogen, a refrigerated liquid. A CAL FIRE spokesperson said the tank was actually very well insulated, so there wasn't a big threat of the nitrogen spilling out.

The CHP had to evacuate cars stuck in traffic out of the area Wednesday night. Responding fire crews determined they did not have to evacuate the residents nearby. Authorities closed Highway 17 so that fire personnel and equipment could quickly get to the fire.

There are reports that two people safely got out of the tractor trailer and there are no reports of any injuries.

Multiple agencies helped put the fire out.

All lanes were reopened by 5:45 a.m.

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