Interstate 80 over the Sierra Nevada range was closed early Friday after ten big rigs jackknifed or spun out on the snow-covered highway west of Truckee.
The California Highway Patrol said it could be mid afternoon before both directions of the interstate are reopened. I-80 is the main link between Nevada and Northern California.
Authorities said there are some injuries but it appears there were no deaths.
The accident occurred around 2 a.m., when four eastbound tractor trailer rigs and two cars spun out and blocked the freeway, a CHP dispatcher said. Another vehicle hit one of the big rigs and it caught fire. The fire triggered a brief brush fire, which was extinguished.
Another truck headed west jackknifed nearby at about the same time, and a total of 10 big rigs were eventually involved, the CHP said.
An ambulance ran off the road on the way to the scene and had to be pulled back onto the roadway.
The patrol said there was about an inch of snow on the ground but there was no fog in the area, about 10 miles west of Truckee.
Chains were not required at the time, though chains or snow tires were required by dawn over most mountain passes.