ST. GEORGE — A semitrailer filled with potatoes caught fire and burned late Monday night, leading to the temporary closure of the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 near Beaver Dam, Arizona.

Firefighters respond to a blaze involving a semitrailer carrying a load of potatoes near Beaver Dam, Arizona, March 11, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District, St. George News

The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m. PT on southbound I-15 near mile marker 7.

According to a Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District Facebook post, firefighters responded to a report of a fire in a trailer carrying a load of potatoes.

Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Capt. Ernesto Renteria told St. George News on Tuesday that when crews arrived on scene, the trailer was fully engulfed and flames had spread to the median and started a brush fire.

One fire engine and a water tender with a total of six firefighters from Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District responded, as did a couple of ambulances, Renteria said.  Mesquite Fire Department also sent a fire engine and two firefighters to assist. 

“When we got there, Arizona DPS had the whole freeway shut down already, so there was no traffic flowing,” Renteria added.

No injuries were reported.

“The driver was OK,” Renteria said. “He was able to detach the tractor from the trailer safely.”

Renteria said the roadway was reopened about 45 minutes after it was closed. Once the fire had been fully extinguished, a towing company arrived to clean up the mess, he added.

“It took them all night, into the morning,” he said. 

A little over two hours later, a similar but unrelated fire happened on northbound I-15 just north of St. George, near mile marker 13 in Washington City. As previously reported, nobody was injured in that incident, although a trailer loaded with apple puree was destroyed.

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