Tractor trailer fire causes HWY17 closure

September 6, 2012 1:55:19 AM PDT
Highway 17 was closed in both directions Wednesday night in the Santa Cruz Mountains because of a tractor trailer that caught fire. The fire in the Redwood Estates area started just after 10 p.m. in the truck's engine compartment and flames quickly spread to the brush and trees nearby along the southbound lanes.

The tank was full of cryogenic nitrogen, a refrigerated liquid. A CAL FIRE spokesperson said the tank was actually very well insulated, so there wasn't a big threat of the nitrogen spilling out.

The CHP had to evacuate cars stuck in traffic out of the area Wednesday night. Responding fire crews determined they did not have to evacuate the residents nearby. Authorities closed Highway 17 so that fire personnel and equipment could quickly get to the fire.

There are reports that two people safely got out of the tractor trailer and there are no reports of any injuries.

Multiple agencies helped put the fire out.