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Tuesday semi-truck fire obstructs grade

No injuries reported from Oct. 3, incident



— An engine problem is the suspected cause of last week’s fire that destroyed a semi-truck just north of White Bird.

No injuries were reported from the Tuesday, Oct. 3, incident called in around 2:33 p.m. between mileposts 226 and 227, according to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO).

Daniel N. Balfour, 53, of Nampa, was driving a 2010 Peterbilt semi-tractor southbound on U.S. Highway 95, hauling a 53-foot trailer with 101,000 pounds of lumber just collected from Idaho Forest Group in Grangeville. According to the investigation by ICSO Deputy Scott Paulsen, Balfour was traveling 30 to 35 mph when he started hearing the engine making a knocking noise, so he pulled over and looked in the engine compartment and found it was on fire. He attempted to use his fire extinguisher but was unsuccessful, and the engine was engulfed in flames.

According to the report, the semi-truck was burnt to the ground from the front to include the sleeper, and a portion of the lumber on the front of the trailer was damaged. Both were owned by Mountain States Transport, LLC of Boise.

According to Paulsen, a trail of oil or some type of fluid was on the pavement a distance behind the semi, leading to a suspected engine problem as the fire’s cause. No evidence was found of rear tractor brakes or trailer brakes overheating.

Assisting on scene were the Salmon River Rural Fire Department, and Idaho State Police Trooper Cory Juber. Miles Towing of Kooskia provided wrecker services. Crews cleared the scene at 6:44 p.m.


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