There's nothing like the smell of burnt pumpkins in the fall.  Yesterday, a truck filled with hundreds of pumpkins caught fire on a California freeway.

California Pumpkin Fire

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a semi-truck transporting a load of pumpkins caught fire on the southbound span of the 5 Freeway at Smoky Bear Road in Lebec. Cleanup crews arrived to find more than just smashed jack-o'-lanterns; they were faced with hundreds of burnt and bruised pumpkins littering the roadway.

Firefighters Extinguishing The Flames

Footage from the scene showed firefighters working tirelessly to extinguish the blaze, and thankfully, no injuries were reported. However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and the right lane of the southbound 5 Freeway remained closed at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Scary Jack O' Lantern in fire. Halloween theme.
Getty Images

Not A Huge Loss

While these pumpkins may seem like a significant loss, they are just a small portion of the pumpkins grown in California. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, nearly 5,000 acres of pumpkins were harvested in 2022.

However, this pales in comparison to the leading state, Illinois, which harvested more than 16,000 acres of pumpkins in the same time period. Regardless, the destruction of these pumpkins serves as a reminder of the hard work and dedication that goes into harvesting and transporting them, as well as the risks and challenges that come with it. The cleanup crews certainly had their work cut out for them in this particular situation.

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Quad Cities Pumpkin Patches

It's pumpkin pickin' time in the Quad Cities. Pumpkins make great fall decorations and they are obviously fun to carve. If buying a pumpkin at a store doesn't cut it and you want the full experience of a pumpkin patch, we have the full list of pumpkin patches throughout the Quad Cities. If we are missing any local pumpkin patches, email us here.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney/Townsquare Media Quad Cities

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