BEDMINSTER — A tractor trailer carrying over 18,000 pounds of cardboard caught fire on Route 287 on Wednesday afternoon.

The driver of the truck was driving south in the right lane approaching Route 78 just before 11 a.m. when he heard a pop from the tire and felt the truck shift, according to State Police spokesman Ted Schafer.  After the truck was pulled over to the right shoulder, a fire started from sparks created by the tire.

The fire sent thick black smoke into the air and closed lanes creating a multi-mile delay. Traffic was detoured onto Route 78 while the fire was extinguished.

"Sometimes brakes overheat and you're going to get a fire from it," Schafer said. He said there's a flammable fluid in the fuel and brake lines that can cause a trailer to catch fire.

The Department of Environmental Protection responded to the fire along with the Far Hills-Bedminster Fire Department.

New Jersey Fast Traffic reported there was also a fuel spill involved in the incident.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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