Incident Report

Kern County Fire Department
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Jon Drucker

99 Incident - Semi Fire with Hazmat
DATE: May 8, 2024
TIME: 17:15

Incident Number

2419260

Incident tYPE

Reinforced Vehicle Fire with Hazmat
Location: Northbound Hwy 99, 1 mile South of Herring Rd
Closest Community: Bakersfield, CA
Cause: Undetermined

Incident Narrative

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., On May 8th, 2024, at 5:15 p.m. Kern County firefighters were dispatched to reports of a semi truck on fire on northbound Hwy 99, just south of Herring Rd. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a semi truck, pulled off of the highway with the rear of the trailer involved in fire. The driver of the semi had acted quickly and detached the tractor from the trailer and put a safe distance between them. 

With incidents involving semis it is critical that the cargo being hauled is identified by firefighters due to the hazardous nature of some of the loads. In this case, the Battalion Chief on scene immediately acquired shipping papers from the semi driver and relayed the information to all responding crews. The cargo was thousands of one-gallon jugs of liquid pool chlorine. KCFD’s Hazmat Response Team was started to assist and Kern Environmental Health was notified. Due to the rural location, there was no threat to a community. The hazards of this chemical were determined and the information communicated to all on the incident. The chief directed crews to park fire equipment upwind and to exit the vehicles while “on air”, breathing through their SCBA’s (air packs) due to potentially dangerous fumes in the air. 

Firefighters used hoselines to knock down the fire while forcing entry into the rear doors of the trailer. Approximately 100, one-gallon jugs were burned and compromised, along with the packaging around them.

Immediately after extinguishment, firefighters used a hoseline to wash off themselves and their tools, a method of decontamination to minimize any exposure to hazardous materials. All crews involved were monitored for any immediate symptoms of exposure prior to being released. 

Quickly resolving highway incidents is critical. From firefighter’s arrival to fire knockdown took approximately 12 minutes. A hazmat fire was not the only hazard, as working on the side of the freeway is also extremely dangerous. Please remember to always drive slow and cautious around highway workers.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is undetermined. 

Injuries/Fatalities

Injuries: 0
Fatalities: 0

Property Lost/Saved

Estimated Value LOSS: $0
Estimated Value SAVED: $0

KCFD Equipment Assigned

Engines: E53, E55, E65
Patrols: None
Trucks: TK55
Specialty Equipment: HM65, WT67, SF3, BATT5, DIV3, INFO2

Total Personnel

21

Assisting Agencies

CHP, Kern Environmental Health

On Call Fire Information Officer

Phone: 1-661-330-0133

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