Brush Fires Caused Problems on 81

Brush Fires Caused Problems on 81

23 January 2009

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USA — Hundreds of cars were caught in a five-mile backup along Interstate 81 on Friday due to a brush fire.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. and burned more than a mile of brush along the interstate. It caused a two-hour delay in traffic.

Department of Forestry officials say five burn spots eventually burned together on the west side of I-81 around mile marker 230.

Several houses and barns were threatened by the fire and drivers were caught off guard by the thick black smoke.

Investigators say the fire may have started from sparks by a vehicle’s exhaust or a blown tire.

One southbound lane was closed to accommodate firefighters. All lanes have since reopened.

Forestry Official Patti Nylander says, “It’s usually one of two things, it’s usually a catalytic converter that maybe goes bad or is shooting out sparks, or sometimes if a tire blows, they have metal or hot rubber pieces in them that fall in the dry grass. Very rarely are these fires cigarettes. A lot of people think they are, but they’re usually not.”

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