ATWATER (CBS13) – Crews battled a large fire near Highway 99 in Merced County late Tuesday morning.

The scene is near Highway 99 and Applegate Road in Atwater.

atwater Tanker Rolls, Catches Fire Off Highway 99 In Atwater

Scene of the fire in Atawater. (Credit: Twitter/@pina250)

Pictures and video from the scene are showed a large column of smoke coming from the area. The fire appeared to be burning near some buildings.

Caltrans closed southbound Highway 99 at Westside Boulevard due to the fire, but the road has since been reopened. However, the Applegate exit will remain closed for the time being.

At least one person has died, authorities say. It is unclear if the victim is the tanker’s driver.

More info to come.

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