A lorry carrying 20 tonnes of pet food was engulfed in flames on the M61 near Bolton this morning.
Rush hour commuters were caught in gridlock after police closed lanes in both directions.
Driver were warned drivers to stay in their vehicles while the blaze between Bolton and Chorley was tackled.
The fire broke out around 8am, close to Rivington services between junction six and eight.
The northbound carriageway was opened by police shortly before 9am but two lanes are still closed in the southbound direction.
Motorists are advised to expect long delays. It is not known if anyone was injured in the fire.
NW Motorway Police said: “If you are in the traffic on the M61 please remain in your vehicles we will keep you updated with the progress.”
— Uwa Ima-Edomwonyi (@uwakreations) April 28, 2014
Lorry fire on the #M61 SB J8-J6. Traffic stopped whilst FRS deal. Also lane 3 closed on the NB c’way. Long delays in both directions.
— Highways Agency (@HAtraffic_nwest) April 28, 2014
1hr 15 later…still stuck #m61
— deborah talbot (@debtalbot81) April 28, 2014
— Lynsey – YouSayIMake (@YouSayIMake) April 28, 2014
— Joanne W (@Lancslass79) April 28, 2014
Main image courtesy of Uwa Ima-Edomwonyi, with thanks.