For Immediate Release: “Hog Fuel” semi truck fire on Hwy 3
(Poulsbo, Kitsap County) The Poulsbo Fire Department, Poulsbo Police, and the Washington State Patrol responded to a report of a semi truck fire shortly after 9am this morning. When crews arrived on the scene, located on Highway 3 just north of the Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island exit, they found flames flowing from the rear right corner of the trailer.
Crews initially extinguished the majority of the fire within a few minutes but due to the compost nature of the wood chips and the lower location of the fire, hot spots and smoldering lingered. Crews initially used foam to smother the fire, and cut through the metal in the right rear area of the trailer. A tender, carrying 3,000 gallons of water was on standby. Crews used some of the water later to attack the fire from above, saturating the wood chips to ensure the fire was, and would remain, completely extinguished.
The 55 year old Port Angeles truck driver said he had just picked up a load in Tacoma and was making a delivery to a Port Townsend business when he noticed sparks in his rearview mirror. He said, “I was doing my routine mirror checks when I saw the sparks. I pulled over to see what was wrong and thought initially I may have blown a tire. When I got out and walked around and saw flames, I grabbed my fire extinguisher but by then the fire was too big.”
Highway 3 north bound was diverted onto Thompson Road for approximately 45 minutes. The south bound lane remained open but traffic was snarled. Both lanes were reopened by 10:30 am.
There were no injuries in the fire. “Hog fuel” is wood chips and shavings that are used by mills to fuel their broilers.