UPDATE: Virgin River Gorge reported cleared; use caution as cleanup continues

Traffic backed up on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge does not depict the actual scene and is used for illustration only, Arizona, March 12, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

MOHAVE COUNTY, Arizona – A traffic jam that snarled southbound traffic on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge for several hours has been reported cleared as of about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Traffic was at first completely halted and later crawled bumper to bumper after a semitruck caught fire on I-15 near milepost 12.

“Crews will remain on scene to clean up the debris, so please use caution as (you’re) exiting the Gorge,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said in a message to St. George News.

6:30 p.m. A burned semitruck has been removed from the Virgin River Gorge, but southbound Interstate 15 continues to be backed up Thursday evening.

“Traffic is still backed up southbound and has grown an additional 3-4 miles,” Bottoms said.

As of about 6:15 p.m., traffic was backed up between 9 and 10 miles in the Gorge, Bottoms said.

“Please use caution,” he said. “We’re getting several incidents of drivers going way too fast as they approach the tail end of the congestion.”

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