Fire on the Altamont

This morning while heading up the Altamont through rush hour traffic I saw smoke ahead and wondered if it would affect traffic.

Altamont Hills, Traffic, Rush Hour, Fire, Truck FireThe smoke had suddenly appeared just a few minutes before I took this picture, so traffic was just starting to back up. I was in the inside lane that had been cleared out by the police car that was now up ahead stopping traffic so I was able to get close to the front of the stopped traffic. At this point I didn’t know what was on fire. I was hoping that it was not a grass fire as the hills are very dry from the drought.

Traffic, Rush hour, fire, Truck Fire, Altamont PassIn this picture you can just barely see the back of the truck that is on fire. The smoke was very black and was drifting across the road. At times it was even down at ground level. I could not imagine driving through the smoke.

Engine Fire, Truck Fire, Altamont, Rush Hour, Traffic DelayBy this time I was sitting along with many others with our engines off as we patiently waited for the fire to be put out.

You can see that the smoke has changed from black to white as the fire progressed. At this point I could not see exactly what was on fire.

Fire Truck, Altamont Pass, Truck Fire, SmokeBy the time the fire truck arrived the smoke had diminished. Most likely most of the flammable material had been burned up. By now it was obvious that the truck was on fire and I was hoping that the gas tanks would not explode.

Truck Cab Fire, Altamont Pass, Rush Hour, Traffic HazzardFinally after what seemed like a very long time, although it was only about 10-15 minutes, traffic started moving again.

As you can see in this picture the fire was only in the cab of the truck. I can only imagine how long the delay would have been if the trailer had also caught on fire.

During the time we were stopped on the Altamont traffic cleared out ahead of me and since I was near the front of the pack it was smooth sailing almost all the way to work.

The trip home tonight was also worse than normal, but the only visible reason was three men sitting on the side of a hill near the base of the Altamont. Not sure what they were doing, but right after I passed them traffic cleared up. Why?

I am hoping for a Friday light commute in the morning.

Steven

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