Both directions of the 5 Freeway were temporarily shut down through the Grapevine after a big rig erupted in flames on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

The blaze was reported just after 2:10 p.m. on the southbound 5 at Lower Water Hole and spread to a nearby hillside, according to the California Highway Patrol’s incident log.

A photo released by Caltrans showed lanes obscured by thick, black smoke.

Multiple agencies responded to extinguish the blaze, including personnel from Cal Fire and the Kern County Fire Department.

Officials initially closed only the southbound side of the interstate through the Grapevine before shutting down the entire freeway in the Fort Tejon area around 2:30 p.m., according to CHP’s log.

The northbound lanes were open again about an hour later, while the southbound side began reopening shortly before 4:30 p.m.

There was no word on what sparked the fire or whether anyone was injured.

CHP noted that fire was fanned in part by strong winds blowing through the area at the time.

A red flag warning is set to go into effect in Southern California on Wednesday evening as the National Weather Service warned of a “very critical fire danger” due to periods of gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity through at least Saturday.


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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