OMAHA, Neb. — Fires and extreme weather are disrupting Union Pacific operations in the West and Midwest, the railroad has informed customers.
In Northern California, the Lava fire, in Siskiyou Canyon and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, is disrupting operations between Redding, Calif., and Eugene, Ore. The railroad is assessing damage to infrastructure including the Dry Canyon Bridge, a major trestle near Hotlum, Calif., approximately 5 miles northeast of Weed, Calif. Traffic is being rerouted around this disruption, leading to delays that could exceed 72 hours. The Los Angeles Times reports the fire, which has burned more than 13,000 acres and led to the evacuation of at least 8,000 people, was 20% contained as of Tuesday.
Farther north, record-shattering temperatures in the Pacific Northwest — as high as 116 degrees in Portland, Ore., on Monday — creates the possibility of sun kinks and other heat-releated track issues. UP reports it is performing additional track inspections and “keeping a watchful eye on the safety of our crews and monitoring the area for any potential wildfire risks.
Finally, in the Midwest, washouts east of Kansas City, Mo., have closed the railroad’s main line to St. Louis, with the line expected to be reopened by the end of the week. The railroad says it has repositioned crews and increased crew boards to prepare for reopening, but delivery delays of 24 to 48 hours can be expected once the line reopens until the backlog of traffic can be addressed.