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A big rig hauling diapers caught fire on Interstate 5 through Camp Pendleton on Wednesday, causing a traffic tie-up that stretched for miles and lasted for hours.

The incident started just before noon, when one of the semi-truck’s tires caught fire on northbound I-5 north of the Santa Margarita River, according to the California Highway Patrol online logs and Officer Jim Bettencourt.

The truck was soon fully engulfed. All four northbound lanes were shut down and the CHP issued a traffic alert.

Traffic slowed to a crawl back to state Route 78, roughly six miles south of the incident.


About 1:30 p.m., two of the four lanes were reopened, according to the CHP.

At 2 p.m., the CHP posted that the cleanup would take at least three more hours — the packages of diapers were not on pallets and had to be pulled from the truck one by one.

As of 3 p.m., the two right lanes remained closed.

Source: This post first appeared on

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