Highway 89 closed because of garbage fire | SierraSun.com

Highway 89 closed because of garbage fire

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Police briefly closed Highway 89 south in Truckee Wednesday when a fire broke out aboard a garbage truck hauling solid waste to a landfill.

Material in the rear of a 18-wheel, waste transfer truck caught fire, forcing the driver to pull over just south of the Mousehole railroad overpass. Truckee police closed Highway 89 from about noon to 12:30 p.m. to allow the Truckee fire department to douse the flames, said Lt. Harwood Mitchell.

The truck driver noticed smoke coming from the 24-ton load of waste about the same time another sanitation truck driver passed and noticed smoke billowing from the truck, said Erik Caudle of Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal’s.

Caudle said the fire was probably caused by a homeowner carelessly disposing of hot ashes in the trash. He said that homeowners and construction workers occasionally dump all matter of illegal materials, including hot ash, chemicals, briquettes and commercial wood stains.

“It would be greatly appreciated if homeowners and contractors could be careful [of what they put in the trash],” Caudle said.

The sanitation truck was headed to a landfill in Lockwood, Nev., at the time of the fire. Once the fire was extinguished, the driver headed back to the sanitation yard where the load was emptied and the truck refilled.

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Lt. Mitchell said the fire caused no injuries or property damage. Also, no hazardous material spilled onto the roadway.