Big rig fire jams morning commute in North County

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A big rig carrying building supplies caught fire and burned on state Route 78 Tuesday morning, jamming traffic between Escondido and San Marcos.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. – A big rig carrying building supplies caught fire and burned on state Route 78 Tuesday morning, jamming traffic between Escondido and San Marcos.

The truck pulled over to the shoulder of the eastbound freeway just past Nordahl Road at about 6:30 a.m. The driver got out of the cab, which was quickly engulfed in flames, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP closed the three right lanes of the freeway while firefighters extinguished the blaze and began cleaning up the mess. Traffic backed up in both directions.

As of 8 a.m., two lanes remained closed. Authorities did not have an estimate for when the lanes would reopen, so motorists were advised to use an alternate route.