UPDATE (2;30 p.m.): The semi truck involved in the incident was carrying 31,000 pounds of lithium ion batteries that had been packaged in 55 gallon steel drum containers, according to CHP.
At around 9:15 a.m., the department said officers were dispatched to the area after the driver of the big rig noticed smoke coming from the trailer and immediately pulled over to the right shoulder on Highway 58, detached his truck from the trailer and called 911.
Due to the smoke and potential life-threatening hazards posed to the public, the CHP said all traffic on Highway 58 was re-routed. The businesses and residences south of the scene within a half mile radius were temporarily evacuated for their safety.
All westbound lanes and two eastbound lanes are now open. The department said the number three lane and right shoulder of eastbound 58 will remain closed at this time for cleanup.
UPDATE: All westbound lanes and two eastbound lanes on Highway 58 will be opening.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The California Highway Patrol has closed Highway 58 between Highway 184 and Fairfax Road due to a semi truck carrying hazardous materials being on fire.
The department said at at around 9:30 a.m., the department received a call about a vehicle fire on Highway 58 involving a semi truck. Officers responded to the scene and immediately started closing the highway due to the material contained in the vehicle.
As of 10 a.m., both eastbound and westbound traffic on the 58 is being diverted to alternate routes, the CHP said. It is unknown at this time how long the closure will remain in place.
Motorists are asked to avoid traveling through the area or find an alternate route.