Vegetation fire burns near Colfax

Westbound Interstate 80 re-opened
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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A tractor-trailer rig hauling hay caught fire on westbound Interstate 80, one mile east of Colfax, at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Todd A. Kettwig, of the Gold Run office, said the truck’s brakes overheated and caused the trailer to catch fire and become fully engulfed. Kettwig said the fire spread to surrounding vegetation, but due to quick response by Cal Fire and by citizens at the scene, the vegetation fire was kept to a minimum. “There are homes nearby … and that definitely was a concern,” Kettwig said. The truck and trailer and load were a total loss, he said. However, the driver of the truck was not injured and there were no other vehicles involved. There was also no additional damage to private property or structures. Kettwig said traffic on I-80 was held 30 to 45 minutes until one lane could be cleared. During that period, traffic was detoured onto Rollins Lake Road, traveling into Colfax via Highway 174 and then on South Auburn Street to access I-80. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic control. One lane of I-80 remained closed while Cal Trans cleaned the scene and the highway was back open to two lanes at about 3 p.m. “We were very fortunate in this situation,” Kettwig said. “We do want to thank motorists for their assistance in helping contain the fire as well as reporting it through the 911 system.”