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Updated: Highway 17 Open Following Nitrogen Big-Rig Fire

Severe traffic alert was in effect Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning due to tractor-trailer and hillside fire near Summit Road in Los Gatos.

Update: 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6: Highway 17 is open this morning, following a seven-hour shutdown caused when a tractor-trailer hauling nitrogen caught fire on the Santa Clara County side of the mountain road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

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Update: 12:19 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6: Fire crews responding to a tractor-trailer fire that erupted at about 10 p.m. Wednesday evening near Summit Road are saying residents who live in the Redwood Estates community in Los Gatos weren't evaculated due to the blaze and that no injuries have been reported.

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A severe traffic alert is in effect for both directions of Highway 17 in the area of Summit Road in Los Gatos due to a tractor trailer and hillside on fire.

Traffic in the southbound direction is being diverted off at Bear Creek Road. Motorists are advised to expect delays and avoid the area. There is no estimated time for reopening of the roadway, according to 511 Traffic page.

The accident closed the highway in both directions and its subsequent fire was reported at 10:11 p.m. near the summit of the winding road between San Jose and Santa Cruz.

California Highway Patrol announced the highway would be closed in both directions at 10:36 p.m.

The big-rig involved was a nitrogen tanker truck that caught fire near Redwood Estates in Los Gatos, according to the CHP traffic incident report posted online. The flames spread to a nearby hillside.

—Bay City News and Patch Editor Jennifer Squires contributed to this report

Unk Wes September 06, 2012 at 10:47 AM
Waited for 30 minutes on 17 before the CHP finally figured out to send us onto Summit and Old Santa Cruz Highway.
Homes & Estates Liquidation Providers H.E.L.P. September 06, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Highway 17 has always been a bad road to be on no matter what kind of accident! 2 lanes and very few detours,
Charlotte Allen September 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The worst thing about the traffic situation was that drivers were oblivious to the emergency response team. Highway 17 is very narrow in some spots and some cars didn't have the common sense to yield to police and fire vehicles. If you're on a narrow road pull to the left and right so they can get through! CHP ended up directing everyone to back up one car at a time and go an alternate route.
Anne Breiling September 07, 2012 at 08:01 AM
coming home late from work, thankfully I hit the backup at the Oak/Madrone turnoff and with the aid of my smartphone navigated over to Old SC hwy to the Summit Rd. I heart technology :)

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