Dense smoke from a brush fire forced the closure of the northbound lane of Interstate 59 at the Monroe Road exit near the Forrest/Jones county line Thursday afternoon.
The fire started about 1:30 when an axle on a trailer being towed lost a wheel. Sparks from the axle contacting the road showered into the dry brush, starting the fire.
Because of the thick smoke, visibility in the northbound lane was minimal, forcing officials to detour motorists to Highway 11 at Exit 73.
A total of seven fire departments from Jones and Forrest counties and the Mississippi Forestry Service responded to the 20-acre blaze.