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Wildfires Have Shut Down BNSF Freight Rail Routes From California Into Oregon

The new route is a few thousand additional miles, and according to BNSF, multiple extra days of travel time.

The Pacific Northwest’s wildfires have cut off railroad freight routes between Oregon and California.

Earlier this month, Amtrak shut down one of its routes from Seattle to Sacramento when a fire damaged the tracks. Now, BNSF Railway Company, the nation’s largest freight network, has suspended service from Oregon down to Northern California due to major conflagrations in the area.

The reroute is substantial. Instead of heading straight through Oregon, trains hoping to get from Washington to Northern California have to first travel up to the Canadian border, down through Denver, and as far south as Texas before heading back up through California.

That’s a few thousand additional miles and, according to BNSF, multiple extra days of travel time.

“While no damage to BNSF infrastructure has yet been reported,” the company wrote in a statement, “conditions remain unpredictable as another major fire flared up during the past 24 hours.”

BNSF currently has no estimate of when normal service will resume. A map of the reroute can be found here.