On November 11, a motorist traveling northbound on I-5 through Solana Beach noticed smoke coming from the trailer of a semi truck. He reported it to the CHP at 3:45 p.m.
When the truck finally pulled over at the Birmingham off-ramp in Cardiff by the Sea, the onboard load of recycled paper, cans, and bottles were on fire inside the trailer.
The Encinitas Fire Dept. arrived and hosed down the smoldering pile. The wet mess had to be removed from the trailer, which blocked the freeway’s northbound onramp at Birmingham Dr. until around 7:30 p.m.
As it was getting dark, Caltrans had to close the freeway’s right lane through Cardiff, to allow room for their crews to bulldoze the load of wet recycled material into two dump trucks. The closure impacted the already heavy northbound traffic at the end of the Veterans Day three-day weekend.
The truck driver, who said he was taking his load to Wilmington (near Los Angeles), was not cited and was allowed to leave the scene before the mess was cleaned up.