Huge Fire Started Along Along Major California Highway

( – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that authorities are treating the fire that led to the closure of the I-10 freeway in Los Angeles as an arson case. The revelation was made during a press conference attended by Mayor Karen Bass.

With the major east-to-west artery shut down in both directions, Mayor Bass advised locals to consider alternative routes, work from home, or use the Metro system. She expressed the commitment to restore the freeway’s operation as quickly as possible.

The closure of the I-10 over the weekend due to a massive fire in a storage yard left Los Angeles commuters anticipating a prolonged traffic disruption. The freeway, used by over 300,000 drivers daily, remained closed, with authorities offering detour options and refraining from providing a definite timeline for reopening.

Mayor Karen Bass emphasized the significant damage caused by the extensive fire, stating that engineers are actively working to assess and determine the necessary steps for recovery. She drew parallels to the urgency seen after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, highlighting the need for a similar level of effort in addressing the structural damage.

The fire, originating beneath the freeway, burned for three hours, consuming wooden pallets, trailers, and vehicles stored in the vicinity. Emergency responders, facing challenging conditions, managed to extinguish the blaze. Homeless individuals living beneath the highway were evacuated to shelters.

Mayor Bass acknowledged the suspicion of arson as the fire’s cause but cautioned against premature conclusions. She also emphasized the urgent efforts being undertaken to address the crisis. Caltrans officials reported ongoing assessments of damage to the freeway’s support structures, without specifying a reopening date.

The situation prompted Governor Newsom to declare a state of emergency to facilitate cleanup and repairs. He emphasized the multifaceted nature of the investigation, involving considerations of hazardous materials and structural engineering.

Transportation officials indicated that the storage area where the fire originated is leased by a private company. California Secretary of Transportation Toks Omishakin mentioned a reevaluation of permitting storage yards under highways but acknowledged their common presence across the state and nation.