Record-setting wildfires shut down highways in California, Oregon, Washington

wildfire-creek-screenshot-2020-09-09-15-21

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020:

Record-setting West Coast wildfires force highway closures
Sections of many highways up and down the West Coast are closed as record-setting wildfires spread from California into Oregon and Washington. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire), a record number of acres have been burned so far this year (2.5 million-plus acres) with another four months left in this year’s fire season.

According to CalTrans, the following highways in California are closed due to wildfires:

  • U.S. Highway 101 in both directions north of Willits, from Quail Bridge overpass to Shimmins Ridge Road
  • U.S. Highway 199 in both directions from the junction of California Highway 197 and U.S. 199 North to the Oregon state line
  • California Highway 1 in both directions from Ragged Point Viaduct to Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • California Highway 96 in both directions from 9.6 miles west of Happy Camp to 3.2 miles west of Seiad Valley
  • California Highway 130 in both directions from Quimby Road to Santa Clara/Stanislaus county line
  • California Highway 168 in both directions from Auberry/Morgan Canyon/Park and Ride to East End of Huntington Lake
  • California Highway 236 in both directions from Oak Avenue to California Highway 9

Oregon’s TripCheck lists the following highways as closed due to wildfires:

  • U.S. Highway 199 (Redwood Highway), two miles north of O’Brien from milemarker 34 to 41
  • Oregon Highway 99 is closed between milemarkers 9 and 17
  • Oregon Highway 138 is closed one mile west of Glide between milemarkers 16 and 83
  • Oregon Highway 213 is closed at the intersection with Oregon Highway 211
  • Oregon Highway 224 is closed between milemarkers 18 and 50
  • Oregon Highway 242 is closed between 85 and 55
  • Oregon Highway 422 at the intersection with Oregon Highway 62 from milemarker 0 to 5

Finally, the Washington State DOT reports the following highway closures due to fire activity:

  • Washington Highway 173 in both directions from milemarker 2.5, just west of Bridgeport, to milepost 11 at Brewster
  • Washington Highway 410 in both directions between milemarker 13.37 near 181st Ave East and milemarker 11.46 near 166th Ave East


NEW SOLAR OPTION FOR TRAILER HEAT UNIT | Thermo King has begun to offer solar panels on heating units in the interest of increasing battery life, maximizing uptime and ultimately delivering savings. The company’s Heat King units come with 50,000 BTUs of freeze protection — with a 40-watt ThermoLite solar panel, the heater batteries will stay charged year-round and negate failure from extended periods of low charge levels and proliferation of sulfation. Reduction in the load on the engine as the alternator works less also saves fuel and extends starter and other components’ life.NEW SOLAR OPTION FOR TRAILER HEAT UNIT | Thermo King has begun to offer solar panels on heating units in the interest of increasing battery life, maximizing uptime and ultimately delivering savings. The company’s Heat King units come with 50,000 BTUs of freeze protection — with a 40-watt ThermoLite solar panel, the heater batteries will stay charged year-round and negate failure from extended periods of low charge levels and proliferation of sulfation. Reduction in the load on the engine as the alternator works less also saves fuel and extends starter and other components’ life.

ITI launches new training for upcoming HOS changes
Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI) created a new driver training resource for the changes coming to the hours of service rules on Sept. 29.

The offering includes an updated Pro-Tread Hours of Service online course, a free training video that covers the changes in driving regulations, a webinar discussing practical applications, and a printable poster to provide information on the new rules to drivers, managers and dispatchers.

Current ITI clients can assign, track and document course completion with ITI’s Sentix learning management system. Fleets that are not clients can access the course free as a video, but it will not include documentation of completion.

ITI is also hosting a live 30-minute webinar at 10 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, September 15 with ITI’s Senior Training Specialist Roy Broomfield. Registered participants will also have access to a video of the presentation.

Free lunch Sept. 14 at Tennessee weigh station
Employees from Great West Casualty Company‘s Knoxville, Tennessee, office will join the Tennessee Trucking Association on Monday, Sept. 14, to host a Truck Driver Appreciation event to say ‘thank you’ to America’s truck drivers.

Great West will provide 300 free lunches and goodie bags for drivers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tennessee DOT weigh station on I-40 Westbound west of Knoxville.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
Download
Partners in Business Issue Cover