Brush Fire Shuts Down Highway 237

Smoke from the fire could be smelled for miles

Tuesday, May 14, 2013  |  Updated 6:08 PM PDT
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Brush Fire Shuts Down Highway 237

A brush fire shut down Highway 237 in both directions between North First Street and Zanker Road for a time Tuesday afternoon.

The CHP said smoke on the road caused visibility issues, so they shut down the road.

The CHP received a report of a brush fire along the westbound side of the highway around 1:30 p.m. 

A viewer sent in video of the fire in its early stages. View it here. 

By 3 p.m. crews appeared to have the upper hand on the fire. It took at least two more hours to reopen all of the lanes.

Traffic in both directions of Highway 237 was backed up for miles. The lane closures happened just at the afternoon commute was getting underway. 

The smoke from the fire could be smelled for miles across the South Bay.

At least two new brush fires erupted along the highway west of  Great America Parkway near the Santa Clara-Sunnyvale border shortly before 5  p.m., CHP officials  said.

Firefighters from Sunnyvale and San Jose worked together to put  out four brush fires in that area, San Jose fire Capt. Cleo Doss said.

A mixture of brush, trees, grass and organic ground covering on  the westbound side of Highway 237 had somehow ignited in several spots and  sent out "a lot smoke due to the winds," Doss said.

Parts of the deep ground covering, which is about 6 to 12 inches  deep, were still smoldering mid-afternoon, Doss said.  

The eastbound lanes reopened shortly after 3 p.m., but as of 5:30  p.m. there were still lane closures on the westbound side.
 

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