UPDATED 1 p.m. 3-15-2017: A semi traveling through Hope on I-30 early this morning caused a temporary impediment to westbound traffic when its trailer caught fire.
The call about the fire came in at approximately 5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning. An officer from the Hope Police Department was the first on scene and reported the trailer was on the outside shoulder at the 29 mile marker westbound and already burning badly. The Hope Fire Department sent two of their pumpers to the scene and began the three hour process of extinguishing the blaze. Arkansas Highway Police and State Police also responded to the scene. The fire forced traffic down to just the inside lane.
Firefighters attacked the fire from the outside initially before they were able to open the trailer. The fire had spread to the inside and started burning the load of auto parts. The heat split the trailer in two in front of the axles. The fire was contained to the trailer and never spread to the truck. Once firefighters had it safe enough, Highway Police had the driver disconnect and pull the truck clear of the trailer to avoid igniting the its fuel if the fire spread toward the front of the trailer.
As the Hope trucks began to run out of water, Crossroads Fire Department arrived on scene with their 2800 gallon pumper. The firefighters fought the fire until almost 9 a.m. before they were able to clear and a wrecker crew were able to start removing the trailer and its contents from the interstate.
While firefighters were only about an hour into fighting this trailer fire, law enforcement was notified of another semi headed toward Hope from Prescott that had caught fire but was still moving. The truck driver apparently was made aware and stopped around Exit 45.