Propane Truck Fire Closes I-17 in Both Directions Near Table Mesa Road

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UPDATED 5:35 a.m. WEDNESDAY, AUG. 9 — Both directions of I-17 were reopened early this morning and traffic was moving normally, ADOT announced. The northbound lanes opened at 12:55 a.m., and the southbound lanes opened after 2 a.m. The article below reflects the situation as of Tuesday night:

UPDATED 8:11 p.m. TUESDAY, AUG. 8 — Interstate 17 was closed in both directions Tuesday evening with an “extended closure likely,” according to ADOT, due to a propane truck fire that began mid-afternoon. A video of the fire from the Daisy Mountain Fire Department (DMFD) showed flame shooting into the air.

“We have no estimate on when I-17 SB/NB will reopen,” ADOT tweeted just before 8 p.m.

“Northbound traffic is exiting at New River Road, while southbound traffic is exiting at Rock Springs near Black Canyon City,” ADOT said in a statement. “The southbound closure point will be moved to State Route 69 in Cordes Junction.”

DMFD described the scene as “a hazardous situation.”

The northbound onramp to I-17 at Anthem Way was closed. Overhead signs alerted drivers as far away as Scottsdale on the Loop 101, and at 6 p.m., northbound I-17 traffic was unusually light between the Carefree Highway exit and Anthem.

The truck’s capacity was 3,500 gallons, according to Col. Frank Milstead of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“We’re already stuck in the traffic with no option of getting off an exit. How much longer are we thinking?” Blakely McHugh tweeted to ADOT at about 6 p.m., getting this reply from the agency: “There’s no estimate on reopening with the fire continuing to burn. I’m sorry.”

ADOT advised motorists to consider delaying travel rather than dealing with alternate routes (see map below). “An extended closure of I-17 NB/SB is likely. If you’re able, delaying travel is your best option for now,” the agency tweeted at about 6 p.m.

propane truck fire
Flames were seen shooting from a propane truck fire on I-17 Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in a screen grab of a DMFD video.
Alternate routes suggested by ADOT.

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Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

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