By City News Service
A series of brush fires broke out along the Foothill (210) Freeway next to the Hansen Dam Recreation Area today, closing the eastbound portion of the freeway for nearly one hour in the afternoon commute.
The fires were reported about 4:40 p.m. along the south side of the freeway near the Wheatland Avenue exit, according to the California Highway Patrol. Another fire was spotted farther east, near Sunland Boulevard.
Los Angeles firefighters reported four fires had erupted, burning about a half-acre in total. Firefighters said a truck's brakes locked and shredded a tire, sparking the fires in brush on more than a mile of freeway shoulder.
By 4:55 p.m., eastbound traffic was blocked due to heavy smoke on the freeway, at the eastern end of the San Fernando Valley. Crews were cutting lines to the south, in heavy brush along the Tujunga Wash.
The four fires were put out after 48 minutes, and two of the freeway's four eastbound lanes were reopened while fire crews mopped up the smoldering shoulder.