A major Riverina highway has closed just as the Easter travel period kicks off, with a fuel tanker fire deeming a 35-kilometre section of the thoroughfare impassable.
An entire section of the Cobb Highway is closed off, following a fuel tanker fire just north of Mathoura, between Deniliquin and Echuca.
About 5am this morning local Rural Fire Service brigades came to control flames that had erupted in the truck's rear compartment, which contained diesel.
Shortly afterwards Deniliquin Fire and Rescue NSW crews arrived on the scene, and with their combined efforts they managed to douse the flames.
FRNSW zone commander Stewart Alexander said it had been a "close call", with the truck's front compartment containing thousands of litres of unleaded petrol that could have caused a major disaster.
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"I can't tell you how lucky we are," Mr Alexander said.
"There was some really good work by firefighters, both FRNSW and RFS. If you get a petrol tanker alight that'd burn for hours and hours and hours and cause all sorts of environmental damage."
An Ambulance NSW media spokesman said there were no reported injuries, and that the driver appeared to be uninjured.
Local council is on site building a bund to capture the fuel, and cleanup crews will shortly be clearing up diesel from the road.
Once the spill has been cleared, the truck will be removed from the highway.
Mr Alexander said it was looking to be a big job, and that he believed the highway would remain closed for most of the remainder of the day.
Northbound and southbound motorists are being diverted via Bunnaloo Road, Caldwell Line Road and Barham Road.
Motorists are advised to allow extra time as the diversion adds around 35 minutes to journeys.
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