SigAlert issued after roadside big rig fire shuts down I-5

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Bumper to bumper traffic creeps toward Magic Mountain Parkway along the northbound Interstate 5 Freeway as viewed from the Valencia Blvd overpass looking north. Dan Watson/The Signal

A big rig fire on the northbound side of Interstate 5 near Pyramid Lake resulted in all freeway lanes needing to be shutdown for an unknown duration Wednesday.

Officer Stephan Brandt, of the California Highway Patrol Traffic Management Office, said the call came in at 3:53 p.m.

“It looks like a big rig is on fire there so we shut down all the lanes,” Brandt said, adding that the duration of the SigAlert was unknown as of 4:08 p.m. The original SigAlert had been issued only to shut down the northbound lanes at Lake Hughes Road, but all southbound lanes were shut down as well due to a Hazardous Materials unit being called.

“Something is inside the big rig that is on fire that’s not good,” said Brandt.

The big rig fire, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, eventually spread to nearby brush.

Fire Department helicopter personnel described the fire as a quarter-acre burn in light fuel, according to Franklin Lopez, spokesman for the Fire Department.

The fire had been dubbed the #CherryFire and the Angeles National Forest was handling, according to Lopez.

Knockdown on the fire was announced at 4:14 p.m.

However, while the Hazardous Materials team worked to identify and contain the cargo in the back of the big rig, the Sig Alert would remain in effect for an unknown duration, according to Brandt at 4:20 p.m..

At 4:25 p.m., the southbound side of the I-5 was reopened while the northbound side remained closed, according to officials.

At 4:44 p.m., the No. 1 lane on the northbound side was reopened, but the No. 2, 3 and 4 lanes remained closed.

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