Garbage truck in flames near Lake Wildwood |

Garbage truck in flames near Lake Wildwood

A garbage truck went up in flames Thursday morning just outside the main gate at Lake Wildwood.

The fire was caused by a hydraulic hose leak, said Karen Stern, communications manager for Northern California-Nevada Waste Management.

The truck was totaled, she said.

Penn Valley resident Roger E. Dodge said the fire, which started at about 11:30 a.m., was burning underneath the truck and moved between the cab and hopper.

“It looked like it was dripping oil or hydraulic fluid that was doing the burning,” Dodge said. “There was a lot of smoke.”

The main gate remained closed at 1 p.m., causing a lot of frustration, said resident Cathy Diamond.

Dodge said when he revisited the area around 4 p.m., the truck was in the same place.

The site at Pleasant Valley Road and the Lake Wildwood gate is no more than 100 feet away from a Penn Valley fire station, Dodge said.

The 10-year-old diesel truck was slated to be retired next year, said Stern.

The 20-truck fleet of Grass Valley Waste Management will be switched out for compressed natural gas trucks in the near future, which made the singed truck less of a loss.

“If one had to go, we’d much prefer that one,” Stern said.

Grass Valley Waste Management has an extra truck, and service will not be affected by the damaged vehicle, Stern said, though the trucks typically cost $360,000.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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