A truck fire that became a brush fire sparked traffic delays through the Newhall Pass Wednesday morning, jamming commuter traffic for more than four hours.
Shortly after 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, motorists reported seeing a trash-hauling big rig on fire in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Weldon Canyon.
As paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department began arriving, they found the truck including its cab fully engulfed in flames.
The fire then spread to the nearby brush and within 15 minutes of the truck fire, the hillside was on fire inside Newhall Pass.
“Firefighters arrived to find a semi fully involved,” Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright, noting they got on scene at 5:59 a.m.
“They reported a 300 by 300 foot spot fire burning,” he said. “But, at 6:44 a.m. we knocked down the fire that had spread to the brush and it ended up being a 300 by 300 fire.”
Firefighting efforts prompted the shutdown of all northbound lanes of I-5, with motorists being diverted onto Highway 14.
About 7:30 a.m., officers of the California Highway Patrol opened up the fast lane to traffic but kept all other lanes closed.
CHP called Caltrans for an “extensive cleanup” including a small amound of spilled diesel on the freeway.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m., the fast lane and the lane next to it were opened.
Other lanes are expected to remain closed until about 11 a.m.
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