PARLEYS CANYON — Traffic on I-80 was backed up for miles after a semitrailer caught fire driving through Parleys Canyon Saturday, burning so hot it damaged the pavement.
The driver was headed east about 4 p.m. when he noticed smoke coming from under the hood of the semi, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Mary Kaye Lucas said.
The man alerted his co-driver, who was resting in a sleeping compartment, and both men made it out of the truck just before it burst into flames near milepost 135.
"The smoke was coming from the engine, so he immediately stopped the truck and got out," Lucas said. "The cab of the truck caught fire, pretty much destroying the whole tractor of the vehicle."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Traffic backed up to the mouth of the canyon as crews worked to extinguish the fire and clear the road, including damage to the pavement in one lane, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
Traffic was restricted to one lane until about 7 p.m. and delays were estimated at two hours. All three lanes were re-opened by 8 p.m.
— McKenzie Romero