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Yacht spared but pickup truck pulling it burns

An engine fire destroyed a truck, but was stopped before it spread to a 42-foot yacht being towed over Siskiyou Summit Wednesday.

Firefighters from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 were called to the fire near milepost 5 of Interstate 5's southbound lanes at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The engine of the Ford crew cab pickup had burst into flames and the fire spread back through the cab, District 5 Capt. Vince Lockett said. The heat had popped the truck's front tires and melted a plastic gas can in the truck bed.

The driver had escaped safely and begged the firefighters to save the boat, which he said was valued at about $400,000.

The truck and boat were part of a convoy moving luxury boats from a financially troubled marina in Tacoma, Wash., to a boat dealer in Florida, Lockett said.

The fire closed the shoulder and slow lane of I-5 for nearly an hour Wednesday morning.