Semi fire closes I-70 temporarily

Firefighters respond to a semi on fire Friday night east of Salina. The fire ended up closing the westbound Interstate 70 lanes for approximately four hours.

SALINA — A fire was reported approximately 30 miles east of Salina on Interstate 70 Friday evening.

The truck was hauling multiple cars when the fire broke out. The Salina Fire Department was dispatched to the scene, along with backup from Richfield and Aurora’s departments.

The tractor trailer was traveling west when the flames erupted.

“It’s difficult when we have calls such as this on the freeway, because of limited water resources,” said Salina Fire Chief Kyle Hunt. “With no access to a water hydrant, we rely on the water that our engines carry. We were grateful that Aurora, Richfield, and Emery were able to help us out. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Both westbound lanes were closed to travel for approximately four hours as firefighters fought the blaze. The semi and seven vehicles on its trailer were damaged by the blaze, which was caused by a mechanical failure, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. The vehicles on the trailer included two 2017 Nissan Leaf’s, one 2013 Porsche, one 2019 Hyundai Tucson, one 2006 Hyundai Accent, one 2016 Range Rover Sport and one 2012 Honda Civic.

The driver, Roma Prost, 35, Aurora, Colorado, was uninjured in the fire.

“It was a challenging fire to fight with many different things to consider,” Hunt said. “It’s not always as simple as it may seem to just put water on it. I’m glad that at the end of the call, the driver was ok, and that none of the firefighters that responded were injured. That to me is a successful call when everyone goes home.”

Westbound travel was resumed Saturday at approximately 12:30 a.m., once the scene was cleared. 

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