Just north of Black Diamond Road, a tire blew out on the rear of a tractor trailer and caused a fire to start, State Police said.

Southbound Route 1 has now reopened south of Townsend after a truck fire had closed the highway earlier today.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. this morning, Dec. 31, as Ralph I. Elsey, 62, of Seaford, was driving a 2006 Freightliner tractor trailer loaded with live chickens on southbound Route 1.

Just north of Black Diamond Road, a tire on the rear of the trailer blew and caused a fire to start, State Police said. Elsey was able to pull the truck onto the shoulder of the roadway and exit the vehicle.

The fire was extinguished by members of the Townsend Fire Company. There were no injuries.

The southbound lanes of Route 1 remained closed until the load of chickens could be placed on another tractor trailer and the disabled truck was removed from the scene.

Southbound Route 1 traffic was detoured onto New Discovery Road.

The highway was reopened at about 3:10 p.m., police said.