On April 18, 2013 at approximately 7:45 a.m., a 2007 Freightliner truck pulling a semi-trailer driven by ROBERT AXMAKER, age 74, from Prineville, was traveling westbound along Highway 26 near milepost 45 when a tire blew out. As AXMAKER was stopping, a fire started and began to quickly spread from somewhere near the front of the truck. He got out of the vehicle and wasn't injured.
Hoodland Fire District responded for fire suppression and ODOT personnel came to the scene to block the highway until the remains of the truck and trailer were removed by a local tow company. According to Hoodland Fire District Chief Mic Eby, firefighters extinguished both the truck fire and tree fires within 25 seconds of the engines' arrival using a deck gun and foam. One firefighter was taken to a hospital with a shoulder injury and released.
ODOT assessed the highway for damage. According to ODOT, the highway was re-opened about 12:30 p.m.
The cause of the fire is not confirmed.
Questions regarding possible road damage should be directed to ODOT.