Hay fire

Firefighters battle a blaze on a trailer of hay on the outer loop of I-695 near Greenspring Avenue. (Steve Ruark, Baltimore Sun / March 15, 2012)

A tractor-trailer hauling hay that caught fire on the Baltimore Beltway Thursday morning has been cleared, according to Baltimore County officials and the State Highway Administration.

Throughout mid-day, motorists had been advised to avoid the outer loop of Interstate 695 near Stevenson because a load of hay in the back of a tractor-trailer was on fire.

The fire was reported at 10:59 a.m. between the Greenspring Avenue and Stevenson Road exits.

Eleven fire engines, tankers and other equipment were on the scene during the lunch hour in what fire officials called an "arduous" firefighting process.

The burning truck was cleared from the highway around 3 p.m.