Hazmat Truck Fire on CA-190-Chemical Release Prevented by NPS Firefighters

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – A tractor trailer carrying hazardous waste caught on fire in Death Valley National Park on April 26. Park rangers extinguished the fire before it reached the truck’s trailer, preventing a potential release of waste into the park.

The truck’s engine and brakes caught on fire while it was descending 5,000 vertical feet from Towne Pass on CA-190. The fire happened near milepost 83, between Emigrant Junction and Stovepipe Wells.

A National Park Service (NPS) maintenance worker reported the burning truck to park dispatch by radio around 7:00 am. Park rangers responded with a NPS fire engine and prevented the fire from spreading from the tractor to the trailer, which contained sulfuric acid and mixed types of solid low-level hazardous waste. Caltrans staff controlled traffic.

The driver, a 48-year-old man from the Los Angeles area, sustained non-life threatening injuries. Park rangers transported him in an ambulance to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, NV.

This was the third truck fire on Towne Pass in the past year.

NPS photo A NPS park ranger sprays water to extinguish the truck fire.