Update: Truck Fire Backs up Traffic on Interstate-94 - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Truck Fire Backs up Traffic on Interstate-94

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus
Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus
Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus
Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus Courtesy: Wendi Jewell Majerus

Updated Story 10:35 PM:

A scary sight for drivers and firefighters as a semi carrying huge hay bales catches fire. It happened just after three this afternoon in the Eastbound lane along I-94 in Moorhead temporarily shutting down part of the interstate.

Firefighters will be keeping an eye out for any flare-up's tonight. The driver of this semi told authorities he drove for a time without knowing his cargo was on fire.

"I used to work on a volunteer service in North Dakota," Tom Frost says who was watching crews handle the fire, "and we found that hay fires were one of the hardest things to put out."

And this time hay wasn't in the middle of the field, but on the side of the interstate.

"It could burn for days if no structures are being threatened, but something like this could re-ignite at any time especially with the wind going today." Frost explains.

To try and prevent any re-kindeling, payloaders were used to spread the hay out before wetting it down.

"They had to spread that stuff out to be able to get water into it to keep it from burning, it's still smoldering, anytime they move it it wants to re-ignite." says Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Brian Cheney.

Some watched as the payloaders tipped the trailer up so they could get the hay that was underneath. Clean up work may not be finished until sometime Friday, as firefighters keep their attention on anything that may start up again.

"It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Moorhead fire has to come back out here tonight." Lt. Cheney says.

The semi trailer appears to be a total loss, and in years past, when hay is in such short supply, this would have been an even greater loss. However, when we asked, investigators couldn't provide us with a damage estimate.

Valley News Live also spoke with an investigator with the Moorhead Fire Department and he says the cause is still undetermined. It does appear that it started on the passenger side towards the front of the semi.



Original Story:

A truck hauling hay that caught on fire on Interstate-94 near Moorhead has created a major traffic backup. The fire was reported around 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The truck was heading eastbound on I-94 when the driver noticed the flames. He pulled over just after passing 34th Street. As of 4:15, all the eastbound lanes are closed and police officers are detouring traffic. The eastbound ramp at 34th Street is also closed.

The hay and fire spread into nearby ditches. Several fire crews are on scene trying to contain the flames. Pay loaders are turning and pressing the hay in attempts to put the fire out. Since there are no fire hydrants, tankers filled with water were brought to the scene as a water supply. 

Valley News Live has a crew on scene and will bring you updates as they become available.

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